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jyr Edgar Lucaf> 

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Xew Tork 1909. ^ -^m^a. 

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BRIAR ROSE . . , , . 








RAPUNZEL ....... 





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THE SALAD ..... 



IRON HANS ..... 




Some years ago a selection of Grimm's Fairy Tales with 
one hundred illustrations of mine in black and white was 
published — in 1900, by Messrs. Freemantle and Co., and 
afterwards by Messrs. Archibald Constable & Co., Ltd. 

At intervals since then I have been at work on the 
original drawings, partially or entirely re-drawing some of 
them in colour, adding new ones in colour and in black 
and white, and generally overhauling them as a set, 
supplementing and omitting, with a view to the present 

Of the forty coloured illustrations, many are elabora- 
tions of the earlier black and white drawings or are 
founded on them. The frontispiece, and those facing 
pp. 34, 70, 94, 104, 116, 118, and 190 are entirely new, and 
several of the text illustrations also have not been pub- 
hshed before. The remaining illustrations in the text 
have been reconsidered and worked on again to a greater 
or less degree. 

Hampstead, September 1909. ARTHUR RACKHAM. 

List of Illustrations 


The Prince carried off the beautiful Maiden on the Golden Horse . 7 

Just then a butcher came along the road, trundling a young pig in a 

wheel-barrow . .13 

At last the old woman came back, and said in a droning voice : 

' Greeting to thee, Zachiel ! ' ..... 19 

A short time after they came upon a Cat, sitting in the road, with a face 

as long as a wet week ...... 22 

The Ass brayed, the Hound barked, the Cat mewed, and the Cock 

crowed ........ 24 

' The Thirteenth Fairy ' . . . . . .32 

But round the castle a hedge of briar roses began to grow up , . 34) 

On the road he met a Sparrow . .... 36 

On the opposite side of the lake stood a splendid brightly-lighted Castle 45 

There was once a Fisherman, who lived with his Wife in a miserable 

little hovel close to the sea ...... 48 

' Flounder, Flounder in the sea, Prythee, hearken unto me ' . .55 

She did not go once but many times, backwards and forwards to the 

well ......... 85 

' Wait a bit, and I '11 give it you ! ' So saying, he struck out at them 

mercilessly ........ 89 




Hansel picked up the fjlitterina; white pebbles and filled his pockets 

with them . . . . . . .100 

' Stupid goose ! ' cried the Witch. ' The opening is big enough ; you 

can see that I could get into it myself ' , . . .106 

The Mouse had to carry water, while the Sausage did the cooking . 109 

The Bird took the wood and flew sadly home with it . . .110 

At last she came to a little house, out of which an old woman was 

looking . . . ,112 

So the lazy girl went home, but she was quite covered with pitch . 114 

They hurried away as quickly as they could . . .122 

Tom Thumb . . . . .126 

Then all at once the door sprang open, and in stepped a little Mannikin 134 

Round the fire an indescribably ridiculous little man was leaping, 

hopping on one leg, and singing . . . .136 

The Bailiff sprang into the water with a great splash, and the whole 

party plunged in after him , . . , . .147 

Kate ran after him, and chased him a good way over the fields . 150 

The Maiden fetched the magic wand, and then she took her step-sister's 

head, and dropped three drops of blood from it . . .157 

' Mirror, Mirror on the wall, Who is fairest of us all .> ' . . . i62 

In the evening the seven Dwarfs came back . .164 

The scullions brought live coals, which he had to eat till the flames 

poured out of his mouth . . . , , .173 

When she saw the pickaxe just above her head, Clever Elsa burst into 
tears ....... 





The Jew was forced to spring up and begin to dance . . .184 

Dancing as hard as he could . . . . . .186 

The Three Sleeping Princesses ...... 208 

So the rich Brother had to put his Brother's Turnip into a cart, and 

have it taken home ....... 214 

When he got home he had the rope in his hand, but there was nothing 

at the end of it ....... 221 

On the way he passed a swamp, in which a number of Frogs were 

croaking ........ 224 

The Cat crept stealthily up to the topmost branch . . . 227 

They found the Princess still on the rock, but the Dragon was asleep 

with his head on her lap ...... 233 

The poor Horse was very sad, and went into the forest to get a little 

shelter from the wind and weather ..... 242 

Then the Horse sprang up, and dragged the Lion away behind him . 243 

Before long the Witch came by riding at a furious pace on a tom cat . 246 

The Golden Castle of Stromberg ...... 253 

One day he saw three Robbers fighting ..... 255 

There stands an old tree ; cut it down, and you will find something at 

the roots ........ 258 

So now there were seven people running behind Simpleton and his 

Goose ........ 259 

And so they followed up hill and down dale after Simpleton and his 

Goose ........ 260 

The King could no longer withhold his daughter . . 263 



When she entered she met a Dwarf . . . . .286 

The Ravens comhig home ...... 287 

Does the gentleman wear red breeches, and has he a pointed muzzle? . 291 

But the Old Woman was a witch ..... 293 

He tied them all together and drove them along till he came to a mill . 298 

Crowds of black cats and dogs swarmed out of every corner . . 306 

She immediately clutched at his cap to pull it off; but he held it on 

with both hands . . . . .321 

He called three times, ' Iron Hans,' as loud as he could . . . 322 

List of Coloured Illustrations 

The King could not contain himself for joy . . . Fronlispiece 


Away they flew over stock and stone, at such a pace that his liair 

whistled in the wind ....... 2 

By day she made herself into a cat . . . . 1 6 

. . . Or a screech owl . . . .18 

Once there was a poor old woman who lived in a village . . 28 

The young Prince said, ' I am not afraid ; I am determined to go and 

look upon the lovely Briar Rose ' . . . . .34 

At the third sting the Fox screamed, and down went his tail between 

his legs ........ 58 

So she seized him with two fingers, and carried him upstairs . 62 

The Cat stole away behind the city walls to the church . . . 66 

Alas ! dear Falada, there thou hangest ..... 70 

Blow, blow, little breeze, And Conrad's hat seize ... 72 

Now we will go up the hill and have a good feast before the squirrel 

carries off all the nuts ...... 74 

When he went over the wall he was terrified to see the Witch before 

him ......... 80 



The Witch climbed up .... 



Pulling the piece of soft cheese out of his pocket, he squeezed it till the 
moisture ran out • . • . . . 

They worked themselves up into such a rage that they tore up trees by 
the roots, and hacked at each other till they both fell dead 

All at once the door opened and an old, old Woman, supporting herself 
on a crutch, came hobbling out ..... 

Hansel put out a knuckle-bpne, and the old Woman, whose eyes were 
dim, could not see, and thought it was his finger, and she was 
much astonished that he did not get fat . 

When she got to the wood, she met a Wolf 

' O Grandmother, what big ears you have got,' she said . 

At last she reached the cellar, and there she found an old, old worn 
with a shaking head ...... 

When Tom had said good-bye to his Father they went away with him 

Then he ran after him, still holding the carving-knife, and cried, 
' Only one, only one ! ' 

The Old Man had to sit by himself, and ate his food from a woodei 
bowl ...... 

The quicker he played, the higher she had to jump 

The Dwarfs, when they came in the evening, found Snowdrop lying or 
the ground .... 

Ashenputtel goes to the ball 

The Fishes, in their joy, stretched up their heads above the water, and 
promised to reward him • . . . . 

The Seven Kids and their mother capered and danced round the spring 
in their joy ... 











The Ducks which he had once saved, dived and brought up the key 

from the depths ....... 208 

So the four Brothers took their sticks in their hands, bade their Father 

good-bye, and passed out of the town gate .... 228 

The King's only daughter had been carried off by a Dragon . . 232 

She went away accompanied by the Lions .... 236 

Good Dwarf, can you not tell me wliere my brothers are.'' . . 266 

The Son made a circle, and his Father and he took their places within 

it, and the little black Mannikin appeared .... 274 

Once upon a time a poor Peasant, named Crabb, was taking a load of 

wood drawn by two oxen to the town for sale 280 

The good little Sister cut off her own tiny finger, fitted it into the lock, 

and succeeded in opening it . . . . . 284 

But they said one after another : ' Halloa ! who has been eating off my 

plate ? Who has been drinking out of my cup ? ' . 286 

Then the Youth took the axe and split the anvil with one blow, catching 

in the Old Man's beard at the same time . . . .310 

The Beggar took her by the hand and led her away . . . 314 

ALONG time ago there was a King who had a lovely 
pleasure-garden round his palace, and in it stood a tree 
which bore golden apples. When the apples were 
nearly ripe they were counted, but the very next morning 
one was missing. 

This was reported to the King, and he ordered a watch to 
be set every night under the tree. 

The King had three sons, and he sent the eldest into the 
garden at nightfall ; but by midnight he was overcome with 
sleep, and in the morning another apple was missing. 

On the following night the second son had to keep watch, 
but he fared no better. When the clock struck twelve, he too 
was fast asleep, and in the morning another apple was gone. 

The turn to watch now came to the third son. He was 
quite ready, but the King had not much confidence in him, 
and thought that he would accomplish even less than his 
brothers. At last, however, he gave his permission ; so the 
youth lay down under the tree to watch, determined not to let 
sleep get the mastery over him. 

As the clock struck twelve there was a rustling in the air, 

A 1 


and by the light of the moon he saw a Bird, whose shining 
feathers were of pure gold. The Bird settled on the tree, and 
was just plucking an apple when the young Prince shot an 
arrow at it. The Bird flew away, but the arrow hit its plum- 
age, and one of the golden feathers fell to the ground. The 
Prince picked it up, and in the morning took it to the King 
and told him all that he had seen in the night. 

The King assembled his council, and everybody declared 
that a feather like that was worth more than the whole king- 
dom. 'If the feather is worth so much,' said the King, 'one 
will not satisfy me ; I must and will have the whole Bird.' 

The eldest, relying on his cleverness, set out in search of 
the Bird, and thought that he would be sure to find it soon. 

When he had gone some distance he saw a Fox sitting by 
the edge of a wood ; he raised his gun and aimed at it. The 
Fox cried out, ' Do not shoot me, and I will give you some 
good advice. You are going to look for the Golden Bird ; 
you will come to a village at nightfall, where you will find two 
inns opposite each other. One of them will be brightly 
lighted, and there will be noise and revelry going on in it. 
Be sure you do not choose that one, but go into the other, 
even if you don't like the look of it so well.' 

' How can a stupid animal like that give me good advice ? ' 
thought the King's son, and he pulled the trigger, but missed 
the Fox, who turned tail and made off into the wood. 

Thereupon the Prince continued his journey, and at night- 
fall reached the village with the two inns. Singing and 
dancing were going on in the one, and the other had a poverty- 
stricken and decayed appearance, 

' I should be a fool,' he said, ' if I were to go to that miserable 
place with this good one so near.' 

So he went into the noisy one, and lived there in rioting 
and revelry, forgetting the Bird, his father, and all his good 

When some time had passed and the eldest son did not 
come back, the second prepared to start in quest of the 


Golden Bird. He met the Fox, as the eldest son had done, 
and it gave him the same good advice, of which he took just 
as little heed. 

He came to the two inns, and saw his brother standing at 
the window of the one whence sounds of revelry proceeded. 
He could not withstand his brother's calling, so he went in 
and gave himself up to a life of pleasure. 

Again some time passed, and the King's youngest son 
wanted to go out to try his luck ; but his father would not 
let him go. 

' It is useless,' he said. ' He will be even less able to find 
the Golden Bird than his brothers, and when any ill luck 
overtakes him, he will not be able to help himself ; he has no 

But at last, because he gave him no peace, he let him go. 
The Fox again sat at the edge of the wood, begged for its 
life, and gave its good advice. The Prince was good-natured, 
and said : ' Be calm, little Fox, I will do thee no harm.' 

' You won't repent it,' answered the Fox ; ' and so that 
you may get along faster, come and mount on my tail.' 

No sooner had he seated himself than the Fox began to 
run, and away they flew over stock and stone, at such a pace 
that his hair whistled in the wind. 

When they reached the village, the Prince dismounted, and 
following the good advice of the Fox, he went straight to the 
mean inn without looking about him, and there he passed a 
peaceful night. In the morning when he went out into the 
fields, there sat the Fox, who said : ' I will now tell you what 
you must do next. Walk straight on till you come to a 
castle, in front of which a whole regiment of soldiers is 
encamped. Don't be afraid of them ; they will all be asleep 
and snoring. Walk through the midst of them straight into 
the castle, and through all the rooms, and at last you will 
reach an apartment where the Golden Bird will be hanging 
in a common wooden cage. A golden cage stands near it 
for show, but beware ! whatever you do, you must not take 



the bird out of the wooden cage to put it into the other, or 
it will be the worse for you.' 

After these words the Fox again stretched out his tail, the 
Prince took his seat on it, and away they flew over stock and 
stone, till his hair whistled in the wind. 

When he arrived at the castle, he found everything just as 
the Fox had said. 

The Prince went to the room where the Golden Bird hung 
in the wooden cage, with a golden cage standing by, and the 
three golden apples were scattered about the room. He 
thought it would be absurd to leave the beautiful Bird in the 
common old cage, so he opened the door, caught it, and put 
it into the golden cage. But as he did it, the Bird uttered a 
piercing shriek. The soldiers woke up, rushed in, and carried 
him away to prison. Next morning he was taken before a 
judge, and, as he confessed all, he was sentenced to death. 
The King, however, said that he would spare his life on one 
condition, and this was that he should bring him the Golden 
Horse which runs faster than the wind. In addition, he 
should have the Golden Bird as a reward. 

So the Prince set off with many sighs ; he was very sad, 
for where was he to find the Golden Horse ? 

Then suddenly he saw his old friend the Fox sitting on the 
road. ' Now you see,' said the Fox, ' all this has happened 
because you did not listen to me. All the same, keep up your 
spirits ; I will protect you and tell you how to find the Golden 
Horse. You must keep straight along the road, and you 
will come to a palace, in the stable of which stands the Golden 
Horse. The grooms will be lying round the stable, but they 
will be fast asleep and snoring, and you can safely lead the 
horse through them. Only, one thing you must beware of. 
Put the old saddle of wood and leather upon it, and not the 
golden one hanging near, or you will rue it.' 

Then the Fox stretched out his tail, the Prince took his seat, 
and away they flew over stock and stone, till his hair whistled 
in the wind. 


Everything happened just as the Fox had said. The 
Prince came to the stable where the Golden Horse stood, but 
when he was about to put the old saddle on its back, he 
thought, ' Such a beautiful animal will be disgraced if I don't 
put the good saddle upon him, as he deserves.' Hardly had 
the golden saddle touched the horse than he began neighing 
loudly. The grooms awoke, seized the Prince, and threw him 
into a dungeon. 

The next morning he was taken before a judge, and con- 
demned to death ; but the King promised to spare his life, 
and give him the Golden Horse as well, if he could bring him 
the beautiful Princess out of the golden palace. With a 
heavy heart the Prince set out, when to his delight he soon 
met the faithful Fox. 

' I ought to leave you to your fate,' he said ; ' but I will 
have pity on you and once more help you out of your trouble. 
Your road leads straight to the golden palace, — you will reach 
it in the evening ; and at night, when everything is quiet, 
the beautiful Princess will go to the bathroom to take a bath. 
As she goes along, spring forward and give her a kiss, and she 
will follow you. Lead her away with you ; only on no account 
allow her to bid her parents good-bye, or it will go badly with 

Again the Fox stretched out his tail, the Prince seated 
himself upon it, and off they flew over stock and stone, till 
his hair whistled in the wind. 

When he got to the palace, it was just as the Fox had said. 
He waited till midnight, and when the whole palace was 
wrapped in sleep, and the Maiden went to take a bath, he 
sprang forward and gave her a kiss. She said she was quite 
willing to go with him, but she implored him to let her say 
good-bye to her parents. At first he refused ; but as she 
cried, and fell at his feet, at last he gave her leave. Hardly 
had the Maiden stepped up to her father's bed, when he and 
every one else in the palace woke up. The Prince was seized, 
and thrown into prison. 



Next morning the King said to him, ' Your Ufe is forfeited, 
and it can only be spared if you clear away the moimtain in 
front of my window, which shuts out the vicAV. It must be 
done in eight days, and if you accomplish the task you shall 
have my daughter as a reward.' 

So the Prince began his labours, and he dug and shovelled 
without ceasing. On the seventh day, when he saw how 
little he had done, he became very sad, and gave up all hope. 
However, in the evening the Fox appeared and said, ' You 
do not deserve any help from me, but lie down and go to sleep ; 
I will do the work.' In the morning when he woke and looked 
out of the window, the mountain had disappeared. 

Overjoyed, the Prince hurried to the King and told him 
that his condition was fulfilled, and, whether he liked it or 
not, he must keep his word and give him his daughter. 

So they both went away together, and before long the 
faithful Fox joined them. 

' You certainly have got the best thing of all,' said he ; ' but 
to the Maiden of the golden palace the Golden Horse belongs.' 

' How am I to get it ? ' asked the Prince. 

' Oh ! I will tell you that,' answered the Fox. ' First take 
the beautiful Maiden to the King who sent you to the golden 
palace. There will be great joy when you appear, and they 
will bring out the Golden Horse to you. Mount it at once, 
and shake hands with everybody, last of all with the beautiful 
Maiden ; and when you have taken her hand firmly, pull her 
up beside you with a swing and gallop away. No one will be 
able to catch you, for the horse goes faster than the wind.' 

All this was successfully done, and the Prince carried off 
the beautiful Maiden on the Golden Horse. 

The Fox was not far off, and he said to the Prince, ' Now I 
will help you to get the Golden Bird, too. When you approach 
the castle where the Golden Bird lives, let the Maiden dis- 
mount, and I will take care of her. Then ride with the Golden 
Horse into the courtyard of the castle ; there will be great 
rejoicing when they see you, and they will bring out the 


Golden Bird to you. As soon as you have the cage in your 
hand, gallop back to us and take up the Maiden again.' 

When these plans had succeeded, and the Prince was ready 
to ride on with all his treasures, the Fox said to him : 

' Now you must reward me for my help.' 

' What do you want ? ' asked the Prince. 

' When you reach that wood, shoot me dead and cut off my 
head and my paws.' 

' That would indeed be grati- 
tude ! ' said the Prince. ' I can't 
possibly promise to do such a 

The Fox said, ' If you won't do 
it, I must leave you ; but before I 
go I will give you one more piece 
of advice. Beware of two things 
^buy no gallows-birds, and don't 
sit on the edge of a well.' Saying 
which, he ran off into the wood. 

The Prince thought, ' That is 
a strange animal ; what whims 
he has. Who on earth would want 
to buy gallows-birds ! And the 
desire to sit on the edge of a well 
has never yet seized me ! ' 

He rode on with the beautiful 
Maiden, and the road led him 
through the village where his two 
brothers had stayed behind. There 
was a great hubbub in the village, 
and when he asked what it was 
about, he was told that two per- 
sons were going to be hanged. 
When he got nearer he saw that they 
were his brothers, who had wasted their possessions and done 
all sorts of evil deeds. He asked if they could not be set free. 


riie Prince ( anied off the beautiful 
Alaideii on the Golden Horse. 


' Yes, if you '11 ransom them,' answered the people ; ' but 
why will you throw your money away in buying off such 
wicked people ? ' 

He did not stop to reflect, however, but paid the ransom 
for them, and when they were set free they all journej'ed on 

They came to the wood where they had first met the Fox. 
It was deliciously cool there, while the sun was broiling out- 
side, so the two brothers said, ' Let us sit down here by the 
well to rest a little and eat and drink.' The Prince agreed, 
and during the conversation he forgot what he was about, 
and, never dreaming of any foul play, seated himself on the 
edge of the well. But his two brothers threw him backwards 
into it, and went home to their father, taking with them the 
Maiden, the Horse, and the Bird. 

' Here we bring you not only the Golden Bird, but the 
Golden Horse, and the IMaiden from the golden palace, as 
our booty.' 

Thereupon there was great rejoicing; but the Horse would 
not eat, the Bird wovild not sing, and the Maiden sat and 
wept all day. 

The youngest brother had not perished, however. Happily 
the well was dry, and he fell upon soft moss without taking 
any harm ; only, he could not get out. 

Even in this great strait the faithful Fox did not forsake 
him, but came leaping down and scolded him for not taking 
his advice. ' I can't leave you to your fate, though ; I must 
help you to get back to the light of day.' He told him to 
take tight hold of his tail, and then he dragged him up. ' You 
are not out of every danger even now,' said the Fox. ' Your 
brothers were not sure of your death, so they have set watchers 
all over the wood to kill you if they see you.' 

A poor old man was sitting by the roadside, and the Prince 
exchanged clothes with him, and by this means he succeeded 
in reaching the King's court. 

Nobody recognised him, but the Bird began to sing, the 


Horse began to eat, and the beautiful Maiden left off 

In astonishment the King asked, ' What does all this mean ? ' 

The Maiden answered : ' I do not know ; but I was very 
sad, and now I am gay. It seems to me that my true bride- 
groom must have come.' 

She told the King all that had happened, although the two 
brothers had threatened her with death if she betrayed any- 
thing. The King ordered every person in the palace to be 
brought before him. Among them came the Prince disguised 
as an old man in all his rags ; but the Maiden knew him at 
once, and fell on his neck. The wicked brothers were seized 
and put to death ; but the Prince was married to the beautiful 
Maiden, and proclaimed heir to the King. 

But what became of the poor Fox ? Long afterwards, 
when the Prince went out into the fields one day, he met the 
Fox, who said : ' You have everything that you can desire, 
but there is no end to my misery. It still lies in your power 
to release me.' And again he implored the Prince to shoot 
him dead, and to cut off his head and his paws. 

At last the Prince consented to do as he was asked, and no 
sooner was it done than the Fox was changed into a man ; 
no other than the brother of the beautiful Princess, at last 
set free from the evil spell which so long had lain upon him. 

There was nothing now wanting to their happiness for the 
rest of their lives. 

Hans in Luck 

HANS had served his master for seven years, when 
he one day said to him : ' Master, my time is up, 
I want to go home to my mother ; please give me 
my wages,' 

His master answered, ' You have served me well and 
faithfully, and as the service has been, so shall the wages be ' ; 
and he gave him a limtip of gold as big as his head. 

Hans took out his pocket-handkerchief and tied up the gold 
in it, and then slung the bundle over his shoulder, and started 
on his homeward journey. 

As he walked along, just dragging one foot after the other, 
a man on horseback appeared, riding, fresh and gay, along 
on his spirited horse. 

' Ah ! ' said Hans, quite loud as he passed, ' what a fine 
thing riding must be. You are as comfortable as if you were 
in an easy-chair ; you don't stumble over any stones ; you 
save your shoes, and you get over the road you needn't bother 

The horseman, who heard him, stopped and said, ' Hullo, 
Hans, why are you on foot ? ' 

' I can't help myself,' said Hans, ' as I have this bundle 
to carry home. It is true that it is a lump of gold, but I can 
hardly hold my head up for it, and it weighs down my shoulder 

' I '11 tell you what,' said the horseman, ' we will change. 
I will give you my horse, and you shall give me your bundle.' 

' With all my heart,' said Hans ; ' but you will be rarely 
burdened with it.* 

The horseman dismoimted, took the gold, and helped Hans 


up, put the bridle into his hands, and said : ' When you want 
to go very fast, you must cUck your tongue and cry " Gee-up, 

Hans was deHghted when he found himself so easily riding 
along on horseback. After a time it occurred to him that he 
might be going faster, and he began to click with his tongue, 
and to cry ' Gee-up, Gee-up.' The horse broke into a gallop, 
and before Hans knew where he was, he was thrown off into 
a ditch which separated the fields from the high road. The 
horse would have run away if a peasant coming along the 
road leading a cow had not caught it. Hans felt himself all 
over, and picked himself up ; but he was very angry, and said 
to the peasant : ' Riding is poor fun at times, when you have 
a nag like mine, which stumbles and throws you, and puts 
you in danger of breaking your neck. I will never mount 
it again. I think much more of that cow of yours. You can 
walk comfortably behind her, and you have her milk into 
the bargain every day, as well as butter and cheese. What 
would I not give for a cow like that ! ' 

' Well,' said the peasant, ' if you have such a fancy for it 
as all that, I will exchange the cow for the horse.' 

Hans accepted the offer with delight, and the peasant 
mounted the horse and rode rapidly off. 

Hans drove his cow peacefully on, and thought what a 
lucky bargain he had made. ' If only I have a bit of bread, 
and I don't expect ever to be without that, I shall always have 
butter and cheese to eat with it. If I am thirsty, I only have 
to milk my cow and I have milk to drink. My heart ! what 
more can you desire ? ' 

When he came to an inn he made a halt, and in great joy 
he ate up all the food he had with him, all his dinner and his 
supper too, and he gave the last coins he had for half a glass 
of beer. Then he went on fiu-ther in the direction of his 
mother's village, driving his cow before him. The heat was 
overpowering, and, as midday drew near, Hans found himself 
on a heath which it took him an hour to cross. He was so 



hot and thirsty, that his tongue was parched and eking to the 
roof of his mouth. 

' This ean easily be set to rights,' thought Hans. ' I will 
milk my cow and sup up the milk.' He tied her to a tree, 
and as he had no pail, he used his leather cap instead ; but, 
try as hard as he liked, not a single drop of milk appeared. 
As he was very clumsy in his attempts, the impatient animal 
gave him a severe kick on his forehead with one of her hind 
legs. He was stunned by the blow, and fell to the ground, 
where he lay for some time, not knowing where he was. 

Happily just then a butcher came along the road, trundhng 
a young pig in a wheel-barrow. 

' What is going on here ? ' he cried, as he helped poor Hans 

Hans told him all that had happened. 

The butcher handed him his flask, and said : ' Here, take 
a drink, it will do you good. The cow can't give any milk 
I suppose ; she must be too old, and good for nothing but to 
be a beast of burden, or to go to the butcher.' 

' Oh dear ! ' said Hans, smoothing his hair. ' Now who 
would ever have thought it ! Killing the animal is all very 
well, but what kind of meat will it be ? For my part, I don't 
like cow's flesh ; it 's not juicy enough. Now, if one had a 
nice young pig like that, it would taste ever so much better ; 
and then, all the sausages ! ' 

' Listen, Hans ! ' then said the butcher, ' for your sake I 
will exchange, and let you have the pig instead of the cow.' 

' God reward your friendship ! ' said Hans, handing over 
the cow, as the butcher untied the pig, and put the halter 
with which it was tied into his hand. 

Hans went on his way, thinking how well everything was 
turning out for him. Even if a mishap befell him, something 
else immediately happened to make up for it. Soon after 
this, he met a lad carrying a beautiful white goose under his 
arm. They passed the time of day, and Hans began to tell 
him how lucky he was, and what successful bargains he had 


made. The lad told him that he was taking the goose for a 
christening feast. ' Just feel it,' he Avent on, holding it up 
by the wings. ' Feel how heavy it is ; it 's true they have 
been stuffing it for eight weeks. Whoever eats that roast 
goose will have to wipe the fat off both sides of his mouth.' 

Just theu a butcher came along: the road, trundling a young pig 
in a wheel-barrow. 

' Yes, indeed ! ' answered Hans, weighing it in his hand ; 
' but my pig is no light weight either.' 

Then the lad looked cautiously about from side to side, 
and shook his head. ' Now, look here,' he began, ' I don't 



think it 's all quite straight about your pig. One has just 
been stolen out of Sehultze's sty, in the village I have come 
from. I fear, I fear it is the one you are leading. They 
have sent people out to look for it, and it would be a bad 
business for you if you were found with it ; the least they 
would do, would be to put you in the black hole.' 

Poor Hans was very much frightened at this. ' Oh, dear ! 
oh dear ! ' he said. ' Do help me out of this trouble. You 
are more at home here ; take my pig, and let me have your 

' Well, I shall run some risk if I do, but I won't be the means 
of getting you into a scrape.' 

So he took the rope in his hand, and quickly drove the pig 
up a side road ; and honest Hans, relieved of his trouble, 
plodded on with the goose under his arm. 

' When I really come to think it over,' he said to himself, 
' I have still had the best of the bargain. First, there is the 
delicious roast goose, and then all the fat that will drip out 
of it in roasting, will keep us in goose-fat to eat on our bread 
for three months at least ; and, last of all, there are the 
beautiful white feathers which I will stuff my pillow with, 
and then I shall need no rocking to send me to sleep. How 
delighted my mother will be.' 

As he passed through the last village he came to a knife- 
grinder with his cart, singing to his wheel as it buzzed merrily 

round — 

' Scissors and knives I grind so fast, 
And hang up my cloak against the blast.' 

Hans stopped to look at him, and at last he spoke to him and 
said, ' You must be doing a good trade to be so merry over 
your grinding.' 

' Yes,' answered the grinder. ' The work of one's hands is 
the foundation of a golden fortune. A good grinder finds 
money whenever he puts his hand into his pocket. But 
where did you buy that beautiful goose ? ' 

' I did not buy it ; I exchanged my pig for it.' 


' And the pig ? ' 

' Oh, I got that instead of my cow.' 

' And the cow ? ' 

' I got that for a horse.' 

' And the horse ? ' 

' I gave a lump of gold as big as my head for it.' 

' And the gold ? ' 

' Oh, that was my wages for seven years' service.' 

' You certainly have known how to manage your affairs,' 
said the grinder. ' Now, if you could manage to hear the 
money jingling in your pockets when you got up in the morning, 
you would indeed have made your fortune.' 

' How shall I set about that ? ' asked Hans. 

' You must be a grinder like me — nothing is needed for it 
but a whetstone ; everything else will come of itself. I have 
one here which certainly is a little damaged, but you need not 
give me anything for it but your goose. Are you willing ? ' 

' How can you ask me such a question ? ' said Hans. 
' Why, I shall be the happiest person in the world. If I can 
have some money every time I put my hand in my pocket, 
what more should I have to trouble about ? ' 

So he handed him the goose, and took the whetstone in 

' Now,' said the grinder, lifting up an ordinary large stone 
which lay near on the road, ' here is another good stone into 
the bargain. You can hammer out all your old nails on it 
to straighten them. Take it, and carry it off.' 

Hans shouldered the stone, and went on his way with a 
light heart, and his eyes shining with joy. ' I must have 
been born in a lucky hour,' he cried ; ' everything happens 
just as I want it, and as it would happen to a Sunday's child.' 

In the meantime, as he had been on foot since daybreak, 
he began to feel very tired, and he was also very hungry, as 
he had eaten all his provisions at once in his joy at his bargain 
over the cow. At last he could hardly walk any further, 
and he was obliged to stop every minute to rest. Then the 



stones were frightfully heavy, and he could not get rid of the 
thought that it would be very nice if he were not obliged to 
carry them any further. He dragged himself like a snail 
to a well in the fields, meaning to rest and refresh himself 
with a draught of the cool water. So as not to injure the 
stones by sitting on them, he laid them carefully on the edge 
of the well. Then he sat down, and was about to stoop down 
to drink when he inadvertently gave them a little push, and 
both the stones fell straight into the water. 

When Hans saw them disappear before his very eyes he 
jumped for joy, and then knelt down and thanked God, with 
tears in his eyes, for ha\dng shown him this further grace, 
and relieved him of the heavy stones (which were all that 
remained to trouble him) without giving him anything to 
reproach himself with. ' There is certainly no one under the 
sun so happy as I,' 

And so, with a light heart, free from every care, he now 
bounded on home to his mother. 


Jorlnda and Joringel 

THERE was once an old castle in the middle of a vast 
thick wood ; in it there lived an old woman quite 
alone, and she was a witch. By day she made 
herself into a cat or a screech-owl, but regularly at night she 
became a human being again. In this way she was able to 
decoy wild beasts and birds, which she would kill, and boil or 
roast. If any man came within a hundred paces of the castle, 
he was forced to stand still and could not move from the place 
till she gave the word of release ; but if an innocent maiden 
came within the circle she changed her into a bird, and shut 
her up in a cage which she carried into a room in the castle. 
She must have had seven thousand cages of this kind, contain- 
ing pretty birds. 

Now, there was once a maiden called Jorinda who was 
more beautiful than all other maidens. She had promised 
to marry a very handsome youth named Joringel, and it was 
in the days of their courtship, when they took the greatest 
joy in being alone together, that one day they wandered out 
into the forest. ' Take care,' said Joringel ; ' do not let us 
go too near the castle.' 

It was a lovely evening. The sunshine glanced between 
the tree-trunks of the dark green-wood, while the turtle-doves 
sang plaintively in the old beech-trees. Yet Jorinda sat down 
in the sunshine, and could not help weeping and bewailing, 
while Joringel, too, soon became just as mournful. They 
both felt as miserable as if they had been going to die. 
Gazing round them, they found they had lost their way, 
and did not know how they should find the path home. 
Half the sun still appeared above the mountain ; half had sunk 
B 17 


below. Joringel peered into the bushes and saw the old 
walls of the castle quite close to them ; he was terror-struck, 
and became pale as death. Jorinda v/as singing : 

' My birdie with its ring so red 
Sings sorrow, sorrow, sorrow ; 
My love will mourn when I am dead, 
To-morrow, morrow, mor jiJg' j^g-^ 

Joringel looked at her, but she was changed into a nightin- 
gale who sang ' Jug, jug.' 

A screech-owl with glowing eyes flew three times round her, 
and cried three times ' Shu hu-hu.' Joringel could not stir ; 
he stood like a stone without being able to speak, or cry, or 
move hand or foot. The sun had now set ; the owl flew into 
a bush, out of which appeared almost at the same moment a 
crooked old woman, skinny and yellow ; she had big, red eyes 
and a crooked nose whose tip reached her chin. She mumbled 
something, caught the nightingale, and carried it away in her 
hand. Joringel could not say a word nor move from the spot, 
and the nightingale was gone. At last the old woman came 
back, and said in a droning voice : ' Greeting to thee, 
Zachiel ! When the moon shines upon the cage, unloose the 
captive, Zachiel ! ' 

Then Joringel was free. He fell on his knees before the 
witch, and implored her to give back his Jorinda ; but she 
said he should never have her again, and went away. He 
pleaded, he wept, he lamented, but all in vain. ' Alas ! 
what is to become of me ? ' said Joringel. At last he went 
away, and arrived at a strange village, where he spent a long 
time as a shepherd. He often wandered round about the 
castle, but did not go too near it. At last he dreamt one night 
that he found a blood-red flower, in the midst of which was 
a beautiful large pearl. He plucked the flower, and took it 
to the castle. Whatever he touched with it was made free 
of enchantment. He dreamt, too, that by this means he had 
found his Jorinda again. In the morning when he awoke he 

At last the old woman came back, and said in a droning voice: ' Greeting to thee, Zachiel ! ' 


began to search over hill and dale, in the hope of finding a 
flower like this ; he searched till the ninth day, when he found 
the flower early in the morning. In the middle was a big 
dewdrop, as big as the finest pearl. This flower he carried 
day and night, till he reached the castle. He was not held 
fast as before when he came within the hundred paces of the 
castle, but walked straight up to the door. 

Joringel was filled with joy ; he touched the door with the 
flower, and it flew open. He went in through the court, and 
listened for the sound of birds. He went on, and found the 
hall, where the witch was feeding the birds in the seven 
thousand cages. When she saw Joringel she was angry, 
very angry — scolded, and spat poison and gall at him. He 
paid no attention to her, but turned away and searched among 
the bird-cages. Yes, but there were many hundred nightin- 
gales ; how was he to find his Jorinda ? 

While he was looking about in this way he noticed that the 
old woman was secretly removing a cage with a bird inside, 
and was making for the door. He sprang swiftly towards her, 
touched the cage and the witch with the flower, and then 
she no longer had power to exercise her spells. Jorinda stood 
there, as beautiful as before, and threw her arms round 
Joringel's neck. After that he changed all the other birds 
back into maidens again, and went home with Jorinda, and 
they lived long and happily together. 


The Bremen Town Musicians 

ONCE upon a time a man had an Ass which for many 
years carried sacks to the mill without tiring. At 
last, however, its strength was worn out ; it was 
no longer of any use for work. Accordingly its master began 
to ponder as to how best to cut down its keep ; but the Ass, 
seeing there was mischief in the air, ran away and started 
on the road to Bremen ; there he thought he could become 
a town-musician. 

When he had been travelling a short time, he fell in with a 
hound, who was lying panting on the road as though he had 
run himself off his legs. 

' Well, what are you panting so for, Growler ? ' said the Ass. 

' Ah,' said the Hound, ' just because I am old, and every 
day I get weaker, and also because I can no longer keep 
up with the pack, my master wanted to kill me, so I took my 
departure. But now, how am I to earn my bread ? ' 

' Do you know what,' said the Ass. ' I am going to Bremen, 
and shall there become a town-musician ; come with me and 
take your part in the music. I shall play the lute, and you 
shall beat the kettle-drum.' 

The Hound agreed, and they went on. 

A short time after they came upon a Cat, sitting in the road, 
with a face as long as a wet week. 

' Well, what has been crossing you, Whiskers ? ' asked the 

' Who can be cheerful when he is out at elbows ? ' said 
the Cat. ' I am getting on in years, and my teeth are blunted 
and I prefer to sit by the stove and purr instead of hunting 
round after mice. Just because of this my mistress wanted 



to drown me. I made myself scarce, but now I don't know 

where to turn.' 

' Come with us to Bremen,' said the Ass. ' You are a great 

hand at serenading, so you can become a town-musician.' 

The Cat consented, 
and joined them. 

Next the fugitives 
passed b}- a yard where 
a barn-door fowl was 
sitting on the door, 
crowing with all its 

' You crow so loud 
you pierce one through 
and through,' said the 
Ass. ' What is the 
matter ? ' 

'Why! didn't I 
prophesy fine weather 
for Lady Day, when 
Our Lady washes the 
Christ Child's httle 
garment and wants to 
dry it ? But, not- 
withstanding this, be- 
cause Sunday visitors 
are coming to-morrow, 
the mistress has no 
pity, and she has or- 
dered the cook to 
make me into soup, 

so I shall have my neck wrung to-night. Now I am crowing 

with all my might while I have the chance.' 

' Come along. Red-comb,' said the Ass ; ' you had much 

better come with us. We are going to Bremen, and you 

will find a much better fate there. You have a good voice, 

dort time after they came upon a Cat, sitting in 
the road, with a face as long as a wet week. 


and when we make music together, there will be quality 
in it.' 

The Cock allowed himself to be persuaded, and they all four 
went off together. They could not, however, reach the town 
in one day, and by evening they arrived at a wood, where 
they determined to spend the night. The Ass and the Hound 
lay down under a big tree ; the Cat and the Cock settled 
themselves in the branches, the Cock flying right up to the 
top, which was the safest place for him. Before going to sleep 
he looked round once more in every direction ; suddenly it 
seemed to him that he saw a light burning in the distance. 
He called out to his comrades that there must be a house 
not far off, for he saw a light. 

' Very well,' said the Ass, ' let us set out and make our way 
to it, for the entertainment here is very bad.' 

The Hound thought some bones or meat would suit him 
too, so they set out in the direction of the light, and soon saw 
it shining more clearly, and getting bigger and bigger, till 
they reached a brightly-Ughted robbers' den. The Ass, 
being the tallest, approached the window and looked in. 

' What do you see, old Jackass ? ' asked the Cock. 

' WTiat do I see ? ' answered the Ass ; ' why, a table spread 
with delicious food and drink, and robbers seated at it enjoying 

' That would just suit us,' said the Cock. 

' Yes ; if we were only there,' answered the Ass. 

Then the animals took counsel as to how to set about 
dri^dng the robbers out. At last they hit upon a plan. 

The Ass was to take up his position with his fore-feet on 
the window-sill, the Hound was to jump on his back, the Cat 
to climb up on to the Hound, and last of all the Cock flew up 
and perched on the Cat's head. When they were thus 
arranged, at a given signal they all began to perform their 
music ; the Ass brayed, the Hound barked, the Cat mewed, 
and the Cock crowed ; then they dashed through the window, 
shivering the panes. The robbers jumped up at the terrible 



noise ; they thought nothing less than that a demon was 
coming in upon them, and fled into the wood in the greatest 
alarm. Then the four animals sat down to table, and helped 
themselves according to taste, and ate as though they had 

been starving for weeks. 
When they had finished 
they extinguished the light, 
and looked for sleeping 
places, each one to suit his 
nature and taste. 

The Ass lay down on the 
manure heap, the Hound 
behind the door, the Cat on 
the hearth near the warm 
ashes, and the Cock flew 
up to the rafters. As they 
were tired from the long 
journey, they soon went 
to sleep. 

When midnight was 
past, and the robbers saw 
from a distance that the 
light was no longer burn- 
ing, and that all seemed 
quiet, the chief said : 

' We ought not to have 
been scared by a false 
alarm,' and ordered one of 
the robbers to go and ex- 
amine the house. 

Finding all quiet, the 
messenger went into the 
kitchen to kindle a light, and taking the Cat's glowing, fiery 
eyes for live coals, he held a match close to them so as to light 
it. But the Cat would stand no nonsense ; it flew at his face, 
spat and scratched. He was terribly frightened and ran away. 

The Ass brayed, the Hound barked, the Cat 
mewed, and the C'ock crowed. 


He tried to get out by the back door, but the Hound, who 
was lying there, jumped up and bit his leg. As he ran across 
the manure heap in front of the house, the Ass gave him a 
good sound kick with his hind legs, while the Cock, who 
had awoken at the uproar quite fresh and gay, cried out from 
his perch : ' Cock-a-doodle-doo.' Thereupon the robber ran 
back as fast as he could to his chief, and said : ' There is a 
gruesome witch in the house, who breathed on me and 
scratched me with her long fingers. Behind the door there 
stands a man with a knife, who stabbed me ; while in the 
yard lies a black monster, who hit me with a club ; and upon 
the roof the judge is seated, and he called out, " Bring the 
rogue here," so I hurried away as fast as I could,' 

Thenceforward the robbers did not venture again to the 
house, which, however, pleased the four Bremen musicians 
so much that they never wished to leave it again. 

And he who last told the story has hardly finished speaking 


Old Sultan 

A PEASANT once had a faithful dog called Sultan, 
who had grown old and lost all his teeth, and 
could no longer keep fast hold of his quarry. One 
day when the peasant was standing in front of his house with 
his wife, he said : ' To-morrow I intend to shoot old Sultan ; 
he is no longer any use.' 

His wife, who pitied the faithful animal, answered : ' Since 
he has served us so long and honestly, we might at least keep 
him and feed him to the end of his days.' 

' What nonsense,' said her husband ; ' you are a fool. He 
has not a tooth left in his head ; thieves are not a bit afraid 
of him now that they can get away from him. Even if he has 
served us well, he has been well fed in return.' 

The poor dog, who lay near, stretched out in the sun, heard 
all they said, and was sad at the thought that the next day was 
to be his last. Now, he had a good friend who was a wolf, 
and in the evening he slunk off into the wood, and complained 
to him of the fate which awaited him. 

' Listen, comrade,' said the Wolf, ' be of good cheer ; I will 
help you in yovir need, for I have thought of a plan. To- 
morrow your master and mistress are going hay-making, and 


they will take their little child with them because there will 
be nobody left at home. During their work they usually lay 
it under the hedge in the shade ; you lie down as though to 
guard it. I will then come out of the wood and steal the 
child. You must rush quickly after me, as though you wanted 
to rescue the child. I will let it fall, and you will take it back 
to its parents again ; they will think that you have saved it, 
and will be far too thankful to do you any harm. On the 
contrary, you will come into high favour, and they will never 
let you want again.' 

The plot pleased the dog, and it was carried out just as it 
was planned. The father cried out when he saw the Wolf 
run across the field with his child in its mouth ; but when 
old Sultan brought it back he was overjoyed, stroked him, 
and said : ' Not a hair of your coat shall be hm't ; you shall 
have plenty to eat as long as you live.' Then he said to his 
wife : ' Go home immediately and prepare some broth for 
old Sultan which he won't need to bite, and bring the pillow 
out of my bed. I will give it to him to lie upon.' 

Henceforward old Sultan was as well off as he could wish. 
Soon afterwards the Wolf paid him a visit, and rejoiced that 
all had turned out so well. ' But, comrade,' he said, ' you 
must shut your eyes. Suppose some fine day I carry off one 
of your master's fat sheep ? Nowadays it is hard to get 
one's living.' 

' Don't count on that,' answered the dog. ' I must remain 
true to my master— I shall never permit it ? ' 

The Wolf, thinking that he had not spoken in earnest, came 
and crept in art night, and tried to carry off a sheep. But the 
peasant, to whom the faithful Sultan had betrayed the Wolf's 
intention, spied him and belaboured him soundly with a 
threshing-flail. The Wolf was forced to retreat, but he called 
out to the dog, ' Wait a bit, you wicked creature — you shall 
suffer for this.' 

The next morning he sent the Boar to invite the Dog into 
the wood, there to settle matters by a duel. Old Sultan could 



find no second except the Cat, who had only three legs. When 
they came out the poor Cat hobbled along, lifting up its tail 
with pain. 

The Wolf and his second were already in position ; but when 
they saw their opponent coming they thought that he was 
bringing a sword, for they took the outstretched tail of the 
Cat for one. And because the poor animal hobbled on three 
legs, they thought nothing less than that it was picking up 
stones to throw at them every time it stooped. Then both 
became frightened ; the Boar crept away into a thicket, and the 
Wolf jumped up into a tree. The Dog and the Cat were 
astonished, when they arrived, at seeing no one about. The 
Boar, however, had not been able to conceal himself completely; 
his ears still stuck out. While the Cat was looking round 
cautiously, the Boar twitched its ears ; the Cat, who thought 
that it was a mouse moving, sprang upon it, and began biting 
with a will. The Boar jumped up and ran away, calling out : 
' The guilty party is up in that tree.' The Cat and the Dog 
looked up and perceived the Wolf, who, ashamed of having 
shown himself such a coward, made peace with the Dog. 


n — p wmii 

The Straw, the Coal, and the Bean 

ONCE there was a poor old woman who Uved in a 
village ; she had collected a bundle of beans, 
and was going to cook them. So she prepared a 
fire on her hearth, and to make it burn up quickly she lighted 
it with a handful of straw. When she threw the beans into 
the pot, one escaped her minoticed and slipped on to the 
floor, where it lay by a straw. Soon after a glowing coal 
jumped out of the fire and joined the others. Then the Straw 
began, and said : ' Little friends, how came ye hither ? ' 

The Coal answered : ' I have happily escaped the fire ; 
and if I had not done so by force of will, my death would 
certainly have been a most cruel one ; I should have been 
bvu-nt to a cinder.' 

The Bean said : ' I also have escaped so far with a whole 
skin ; but if the old woman had put me into the pot, I should 
have been pitilessly boiled down to broth like my comrades.' 

' Would a better fate have befallen me, then ? ' asked the 
Straw ; ' the old woman packed all my brothers into the fire 
and smoke, sixty of them all done for at once. Fortunately, 
I sUpped through her fingers.' 

' Wliat are we to do now, though ? ' asked the Coal. 

' My opinion is,' said the Bean, ' that, as we have escaped 
death, we must all keep together like good comrades ; and so 
that we may run no further risks, we had better quit the 

This proposal pleased both the others, and they set out 
together. Before long they came to a little stream, and, as 
there was neither path nor bridge, they did not know how to 
get over. The Straw at last had an idea, and said, ' I will 



throw myself over and then you can walk across upon me like 
a bridge.' So the Straw stretched himself across from one 
side to the other, and the Coal, which was of a fiery nature, 
tripped gaily over the newly-built bridge. But when it got 
to the middle and heard the water rushing below, it was 
frightened, and remained speechless, not daring to go any 
further. The Straw beginning to burn, broke in two and fell 
into the stream ; the Coal, falling with it, fizzled out in the 
water. The Bean, who had cautiously remained on the bank, 
could not help laughing over the whole business, and, having 
begun, could not stop, but laughed till she split her sides. 
Now, all would have been up with her had not, fortunately, 
a wandering tailor been taking a rest by the stream. As he 
had a sympathetic heart, he brought out a needle and thread 
and stitched her up again ; but, as he used black thread, all 
beans have a black seam to this dav. 


Briar Rose 

ALONG time ago there lived a King and Queen, who 
said every day, ' If only we had a child ' ; but for 
a long time they had none. 

It fell out once, as the Queen was bathing, that a frog crept 
out of the water on to the land, and said to her : ' Your wish 
shall be fulfilled ; before a year has passed you shall bring a 
daughter into the world.' 

The frog's words came true. The Queen had a little girl 
who was so beautiful that the King could not contain himself 
for joy, and prepared a great feast. He invited not only his 
relations, friends, and acquaintances, but the fairies, in order 
that they might be favourably and kindly disposed towards 
the child. There were thirteen of them in the kingdom, but 
as the King had only twelve golden plates for them to eat 
from, one of the fairies had to stay at home. 

The feast was held with all splendour, and when it came 
to an end the fairies all presented the child with a magic gift. 
One gave her virtue, another beauty, a third riches, and so on, 
with everything in the world that she could wish for. 

When eleven of the fairies had said their say, the thirteenth 
suddenly appeared. She wanted to revenge herself for not 
having been invited. Without greeting any one, or even 
glancing at the company, she called out in a loud voice : 
' The Princess shall prick herself with a distaff in her fifteenth 
year and shall fall down dead ' ; and without another word 
she tiirned and left the hall. 

Every one was terror-struck, but the twelfth fairy, whose 
wish was still unspoken, stepped forward. She could not 
cancel the curse, but could only soften it, so she said : ' It 



shall not be death, but a deep sleep lasting a hundred years, 
into which your daughter shall fall.' 

The King was so anxious to guard his dear child from the 

I'he Thirteenth Fairy.' 

misfortune, that he sent out a command that all the distaffs 
in the whole kingdom should be burned. 

As time went on all the promises of the fairies came true. 
The Princess grew up so beautiful, modest, kind, and clever 


that every one who saw her could not but love her. Now it 
happened that on the very day when she was fifteen years 
old the King and Queen were away from home, and the 
Princess was left quite alone in the castle. She wandered 
about over the whole place, looking at rooms and halls as she 
pleased, and at last she came to an old tower. She ascended 
a narrow, winding staircase and reached a little door. A 
rusty key was sticking in the lock, and when she turned it 
the door flew open. In a little room sat an old woman with 
a spindle, spinning her flax busily. 

' Good day, Granny,' said the Princess ; ' what are you 
doing ? ' 

' I am spinning,' said the old woman, and nodded her head. 

' What is the thing that whirls round so merrily ? ' asked 
the Princess ; and she took the spindle and tried to spin too. 

But she had scarcely touched it before the curse was fulfilled, 
and she pricked her finger with the spindle. The instant she 
felt the prick she fell upon the bed which was standing near, 
and lay still in a deep sleep which spread over the whole castle. 

The King and Queen, who had just come home and had 
stepped into the hall, went to sleep, and all their courtiers with 
them. The horses went to sleep in the stable, the dogs in the 
yard, the doves on the roof, the flies on the wall ; yes, even 
the fire flickering on the hearth grew still and went to sleep, 
and the roast meat stopped crackling ; the cook, who was 
pulhng the scullion's hair because he had made some mistake, 
let him go and went to sleep. The wind dropped, and on the 
trees in front of the castle not a leaf stirred. 

But round the castle a hedge of briar roses began to grow 
up ; every year it grew higher, till at last it surrounded the 
whole castle so that nothing could be seen of it, not even the 
flags on the roof. 

But there was a legend in the land about the lovely sleeping 

Briar Rose, as the King's daughter was caUed, and from time 

to time princes came and tried to force a way through the 

hedge into the castle. They foimd it impossible, for the 

c 33 


thorns, as though they had hands, held them fast, and the 
princes remained caught in them without being able to free 
themselves, and so died a miserable death. 

After many, many years a Prince came again to the country 
and heard an old man tell of the castle which stood behind the 
briar hedge, in which a most beautiful maiden called Briar 


But round the castle a hedge of briar roses began to grow up. 

Rose had been asleep for the last hundred years, and with 
her slept the King, Queen, and all her courtiers. He knew 
also, from his grandfather, that many princes had already 
come and sought to pierce through the briar hedge, and had 
remained caught in it and died a sad death. 

Then the young Prince said, ' I am not afraid ; I am deter- 
mined to go and look upon the lovely Briar Rose.' 


The good old man did all in his power to dissuade him, but 
the Prince would not listen to his words. 

Now, however, the hundred years were just ended, and the 
day had come when Briar Rose was to wake up again. When 
the Prince approached the briar hedge it was in blossom, and 
was covered with beautiful large flowers which made way for 
him of their own accord and let him pass unharmed, and then 
closed up again into a hedge behind him. 

In the courtyard he saw the horses and brindled hounds 
lying asleep, on the roof sat the doves with their heads under 
their wings : and when he went into the house the flies were 
asleep on the walls, and near the throne lay the King and 
Queen ; in the kitchen was the cook, with his hand raised 
as though about to strike the scullion, and the maid sat with 
the black fowl in her lap which she was about to pluck. 

He went on further, and all was so still that he could hear 
his own breathing. At last he reached the tower, and opened 
the door into the little room where Briar Rose was asleep. 
There she lay, looking so beautiful that he could not take 
his eyes off her ; he bent down and gave her a kiss. As he 
touched her. Briar Rose opened her eyes and looked lovingly 
at him. Then they went down together ; and the King woke 
up, and the Queen, and all the courtiers, and looked at each 
other with astonished eyes. The horses in the stable stood 
up and shook themselves, the hounds leaped about and 
wagged their tails, the doves on the roof lifted their heads 
from under their wings, looked round, and flew into the 
fields ; the flies on the walls began to crawl again, the fire in 
the kitchen roused itself and blazed up and cooked the food, 
the meat began to crackle, and the cook boxed the scullion's 
ears so soundly that he screamed aloud, while the maid finished 
plucking the fowl. Then the wedding of the Prince and 
Briar Rose was celebrated with all splendour, and they lived 
happily till they died. 


The Dog and the Sparrow 

THERE was once a sheep-dog who had not got a kind 
master, but one who left him to suffer from hunger. 
When he could bear it no longer, he went sadly 
away. On the road he met a Sparrow, who said, ' Brother 
Dog, why are you so sad ? ' 

On the road he met a Sparrow. 

The Dog answered, ' Because I am hungry and I have 
nothing to eat.' 

' Then,' said the Sparrow, ' Brother Dog, come with me to 
the town, and I will satisfy your hunger.' 

So they went to the town together, and when they came to 


a butcher's shop, the Sparrow said to the Dog, ' Stay Avhere 
you are out there and I will peck down a piece of meat.' He 
perched upon the stall, and looked about to see that he was 
not noticed ; then he pecked, pulled, and pushed a piece of 
meat lying near the edge, till at last it fell to the ground. 
The Dog seized it and ran off with it to a corner, where he 
devoured it. Then the Sparrow said to him, ' Now come with 
me to another shop, and I will pull down another piece so that 
you may have enough.' 

When the Dog had gobbled up the second piece of meat, 
the Sparrow said, ' Brother Dog, have you had enough ? ' 

' Yes, I have had enough meat,' repUed the Dog ; ' but I 
haven't had any bread.' 

' Oh, you shall have some bread too,' said the Sparrow. 
' Come with me.' And then he led him to a baker's shop, 
where he pecked at a couple of rolls till they fell down. Then, 
as the Dog still wanted more, he took him to another shop 
where he pulled down some more bread. 

When that was consumed, the Sparrow said, ' Brother Dog, 
is your hunger satisfied ? ' 

' Yes,' he answered ; ' now let us go and walk about outside 
the town for a bit.' 

So they both went out on to the high-road. Now it was 
very warm weather, and Avhen they had walked a little way 
the Dog said, ' I am tired, and I want to go to sleep.' 

' Oh, by all means,' answered the Sparrow ; ' I will sit 
upon this branch in the meantime.' 

So the Dog lay down upon the road and fell fast asleep. 
While he lay there sleeping, a Carter came along driving a 
wagon with three horses. The wagon was laden with two 
casks of wine. The Sparrow saw that he was not going to 
turn aside, but was going on in the track in which the Dog 
lay, and he called out, ' Carter, don't do it, or I will ruin you ! ' 

But the Carter grumbled to himself, ' You won't ruin me,' 
cracked his whip, and drove the wheels of his wagon right over 
the Dog and killed him, 



The Sparrow cried out after him, ' Carter, you have killed 
my brother Dog ; it will cost you your wagon and your team.' 

' My wagon and my team indeed, what harm can you do 
me ? ' asked the Carter, as he drove on. The Sparrow crept 
under the tarpaulin and pecked at the bunghole of one of the 
casks till the bung came out, and all the wine trickled away 
without the Carter's being aware of it. When he looked 
round and saw the wine dripping from the wagon, he examined 
the casks and found that one was empty. 

' Alas, poor man that I am ! ' he cried. 

' Not poor enough yet,' said the Sparrow, as he flew on to 
the head of one of the horses and pecked out its eyes. When 
the Carter saw what he was doing, he seized his chopper to 
throw it at the Sparrow ; but the bird flew away, and the 
chopper hit the horse on the head, and he dropped down dead. 

' Alas, poor man that I am ! ' he cried. 

' Not poor enough yet,' said the Sparrow. As the Carter 
drove on with his two horses, the Sparrow again crept under 
the tarpaulin and pecked the bung out of the second cask, 
so that all the wine ran out. 

When the Carter perceived it, he cried again, ' Alas, poor 
man that I am ! ' 

But the Sparrow answered, ' Not poor enough yet ' ; and 
he seated himself on the head of the second horse and pecked 
its eyes out. The Carter ran up with his big chopper and 
struck at him ; but the Sparrow flew away, and the blow hit 
the horse and killed it. 

' Alas, poor man that I am ! ' cried the Carter. 

' Not poor enough yet,' said the Sparrow, as he perched 
on the head of the third horse and pecked out its eyes. In 
his rage, the Carter struck out at the Sparrow with his chopper 
without taking aim, missed the Sparrow, but hit his last 
horse on the head, and it fell down dead. 

' Alas, poor man that I am ! ' 

' Not poor enough yet,' said the Sparrow. ' Now, I will 
bring poverty to your home ' ; and he flew away. 


The Carter had to leave his wagon standing, and he went 
home full of rage and fury. 

' Ah ! ' he said to his wife, ' what misfortunes I have had 
to-day ; the wine has all run out of the casks, and my three 
horses are dead.' 

' Alas ! husband,' she answered, ' whatever kind of evil 
bird is this which has come into our house. He has assembled 
all the birds in the world, and they have settled on our maize 
and they are eating it clean uj).' 

He went up into the loft, where thousands and thousands 
of birds were sitting on the floor. They had eaten up all the 
maize, and the Sparrow sat in the middle of them. 

Then the Carter cried out, ' Alas, poor man that I am ! ' 

' Not poor enough,' answered the Sparrow, ' Carter, it will 
cost you your life yet ' ; and he flew away. 

Now the Carter, having lost all that he possessed, went 
downstairs and sat down beside the stove, very angry and 
ill-tempered. But the Sparrow sat outside the window and 
cried, ' Carter, it will cost you your life.' 

The Carter seized his chopper and threw it at the Sparrow, 
but it only smashed the window and did not hit the bird. 

Then the Sparrow hopped in and perched on the stove, and 
cried, ' Carter, it will cost you your life.' 

The Carter, mad, and blind with rage, smashed the stove 
to atoms, but the Sparrow fluttered hither and thither till 
all the furniture, — the little looking-glass, the bench, the 
table, — and at last the very walls of his house were destroyed, 
but without ever hitting the Sparrow, At last he caught it 
in his hand. 

' Then,' said his wife, ' shall I kill it ? ' 

' No,' he cried ; ' that would be too good for it ; it shall 
die a much worse death. I will swallow it.' And he took it 
and gulped it down whole. 

But the bird began to flutter about in his inside, and at 
last fluttered up into the man's mouth. He stretched out his 
head and cried, ' Carter, it will cost you your life yet.' 



The Carter handed his chopper to his wife and said, ' Wife, 
kill the bird in my mouth.' The woman hit out, but she 
aimed badly and hit the Carter on the head, and down he 
fell, dead. 

The Sparrow, however, flew out and right away. 


The Twelve 
Dancing Princesses 

THERE was once a King who had twelve daughters, 
each more beautiful than the other. They slept 
together in a hall where their beds stood close to 
one another ; and at night, when they had gone to bed, the 
King locked the door and bolted it. But when he unlocked 
it in the morning, he noticed that their shoes had been danced 
to pieces, and nobody could explain how it happened. So the 
King sent out a proclamation saying that any one who could 
discover where the Princesses did their night's dancing should 
choose one of them to be his wife and should reign after his 
death ; but whoever presented himself, and failed to make the 
discovery after three days and nights, was to forfeit his life. 

A Prince soon presented himself and offered to take the 
risk. He was well received, and at night was taken into a 
room adjoining the hall where the Princesses slept. His 
bed was made up there, and he was to watch and see where 
they went to dance ; so that they could not do anything, or 
go anywhere else, the door of his room was left open too. 
But the eyes of the King's son grew heavy, and he fell asleep. 
WTien he woke up in the morning all the twelve had been 
dancing, for the soles of their shoes were full of holes. The 
second and third evenings passed with the same results, and 
then the Prince found no mercy, and his head was cut off. 



Many others came after him and offered to take the risk, but 
they all had to lose their lives. 

Now it happened that a poor Soldier, who had been wounded 
and could no longer serve, found himself on the road to the 
town where the King lived. There he fell in with an old 
woman who asked him where he intended to go. 

' I really don't know, myself,' he said ; and added, in fun, 
' I should like to discover where the King's daughters dance 
their shoes into holes, and after that to become King.' 

' That is not so difficult,' said the old woman. ' You must 
not drink the wine which will be brought to you in the evening, 
but must pretend to be fast asleep.' Whereupon she gave 
him a short cloak, saying : ' When you wear this you will 
be invisible, and then you can slip out after the Twelve 

As soon as the Soldier heard this good advice he took it up 
seriously, plucked up courage, appeared before the King, 
and offered himself as suitor. He was as well received as 
the others, and was dressed in royal garments. 

In the evening, when bed-time came, he was conducted 
to the ante-room. As he was about to go to bed the eldest 
Princess appeared, bringing him a cup of wine ; but he had 
fastened a sponge under his chin and let the wine run down 
into it, so that he did not drink one drop. Then he lay down, 
and when he had been quiet a little while he began to snore as 
though in the deepest sleep. 

The Twelve Princesses heard him, and laughed. The 
eldest said : ' He, too, must forfeit his life.' 

Then they got up, opened cupboards, chests, and cases, and 
brought out their beautiful dresses. They decked themselves 
before the glass, skipping about and revelling in the prospect 
of the dance. Only the youngest sister said : ' I don't know 
what it is. You may rejoice, but I feel so strange ; a mis- 
fortune is certainly hanging over us.' 

' You are a little goose,' answered the eldest ; ' you are 
always frightened. Have you forgotten how many Princes 


have come here in vain ? Why, I need not have given the 
Soldier a sleeping draught at all ; the blockhead would never 
have awakened.' 

When they were all ready they looked at the Soldier ; but 
his eyes were shut and he did not stir. So they thought they 
would soon be quite safe. Then the eldest went up to one of 
the beds and knocked on it ; it sank into the earth, and they 
descended through the opening, one after another, the eldest 

The Soldier, who had noticed everything, did not hesitate 
long, but threw on his cloak and went down behind the 
youngest. Half-way down he trod on her dress. She was 
frightened, and said : ' What was that ? who is holding on to 
my dress ? ' 

' Don't be so foolish. You must have caught on a nail,' 
said the eldest. Then they went right down, and when they 
got quite underground, they stood in a marvellously beautiful 
avenue of trees ; all the leaves were silver, and glittered and 

The Soldier thought, ' I must take away some token with 
me.' And as he broke off a twig, a sharp crack came from 
the tree. 

The youngest cried out, ' All is not well ; did you hear that 
sound ? ' 

' Those are triumphal salutes, because we shall soon have 
released our Princes,' said the eldest. 

Next they came to an avenue where all the leaves were of 
gold, and, at last, into a third, where they were of shining 
diamonds. From both these he broke off a twig, and there 
was a crack each time which made the youngest Princess start 
with terror ; but the eldest maintained that the sounds were 
only triumphal salutes. They went on faster, and came to a 
great lake. Close to the bank lay twelve little boats, and in 
every boat sat a handsome Prince. They had expected the 
Twelve Princesses, and each took one with him ; but the 
Soldier seated himself by the youngest. 



Then said the Prince, ' I don't know why, but the boat is 
much heavier to-day, and I am obhged to row with ah my 
strength to get it along.' 

' I wonder why it is,' said the youngest, ' unless, perhaps, 
it is the hot weather ; it is strangely hot.' 

On the opposite side of the lake stood a splendid brightly- 
lighted castle, from which came the sound of the joyous music 
of trumpets and drums. They rowed across, and every Prince 
danced with his love ; and the Soldier danced too, unseen. 
If one of the Princesses held a cup of wine he drank out of it, 
so that it was empty when she lifted it to her lips. This 
frightened the youngest one, but the eldest always silenced her. 
They danced till three next morning, when their shoes were 
danced into holes, and they were obliged to stop. The 
Princes took them back across the lake, and this time the 
Soldier took his seat beside the eldest. On the bank they said 
farewell to their Princes, and promised to come again the next 
night. When they got to the steps, the Soldier ran on ahead, 
lay down in bed, and when the twelve came lagging by, 
slowly and wearily, he began to snore again, very loud, so 
that they said, ' We are quite safe as far as he is concerned.' 
Then they took off their beautiful dresses, put them away, 
placed the worn-out shoes under their beds, and lay down. 

The next morning the Soldier determined to say nothing, 
but to see the wonderful doings again. So he went with them 
the second and third nights. Everything was just the same 
as the first time, and they danced each time till their shoes 
were in holes ; but the third time the Soldier took away a 
wine-cup as a token. 

When the appointed hour came for his answer, he took 
the three twigs and the cup with him and went before the 
King. The Twelve Princesses stood behind the door listening 
to hear what he would say. When the King put the question, 
' Where did my daughters dance their shoes to pieces in the 
night ? ' he answered : ' With twelve Princes in an under- 
ground castle.' Then he produced the tokens. 

Ou the opposite side of the lake stood a splendid brightly-lighted Castle. 


The King sent for his daughters and asked them whether 
the Soldier had spoken the truth. As they saw that they were 
betrayed, and would gain nothing by hes, they were obHged 
to admit all. Thereupon the King asked the Soldier which 
one he would choose as his wife. He answered : ' I am no 
longer young, give me the eldest.' 

So the wedding was celebrated that very day, and the 
kingdom was promised to him on the King's death. But 
for every night which the Princes had spent in dancing with 
the Princesses a day was added to their time of enchantment. 


The Fisherman and his Wife 

THERE was once a Fisherman, who hved with his 
Wife in a miserable little hovel close to the sea. 
He went to fish every day, and he fished and fished, 
and at last one day, as he was sitting looking deep down into 
the shining water, he felt something on his line. When he 
hauled it up there was a great Flounder on the end of the 
line. The Flounder said to him, ' Listen, Fisherman, I beg 
you not to kill me : I am no common Flounder, I am an 
enchanted prince ! What good will it do you to kill me ? 



I shan't be good to eat ; put me back into the water, and leave 
me to swim about.' 

' Ho ! ho ! ' said the Fisherman, ' you need not make so 
many words about it. I am quite ready to put back a Flounder 
that can talk.' And so saying, he put back the Flounder into 
the shining water, and it sank down to the bottom, leaving 
a streak of blood behind it. 

Then the Fisherman got up and went back to his Wife in 
the hovel. ' Husband,' she said, ' hast thou caught nothing 
to-day ? ' 

' No,' said the Man ; ' all I caught was one Flounder, and 
he said he was an enchanted prince, so I let him go swim again.' 

' Didst thou not wish for anything then ? ' asked the Good- 

' No,' said the IMan ; ' what was there to wish for ? ' 

' Alas ! ' said his Wife, ' isn't it bad enough always to live 
in this wretched hovel ! Thou mightst at least have wished 
for a nice clean cottage. Go back and call him, tell him I 
want a pretty cottage : he will surely give us that.' 

' Alas ! ' said the Man, ' what am I to go back there for ? ' 

' Well,' said the Woman, ' it was thou who didst catch him 
and let him go again ; for certain he will do that for thee. 
Be off now ! ' 

The Man was still not very willing to go, but he did not want 
to vex his Wife, and at last he went back to the sea. 

He found the sea no longer bright and shining, but dull and 
green. He stood by it and said — 

' Flounder, rioiinder in the sea, 
Prytliee, heai'ken unto me : 
My Wife, Ilsebil, must have her own will, 
And sends me to beg a boon of thee.' 

The Flounder came swimming up, and said, ' Well, what 
do you want ? ' 

' Alas,' said the Man, ' I had to call you, for my Wife said 
I ought to have wished for something as I caught you. She 



doesn't want to live in our miserable hovel any longer, she 
wants a pretty cottage.' 

' Go home again then,' said the Flounder, ' she has her 
wish fully.' 

The Man went home and found his Wife no longer in the old 
hut, but a pretty little cottage stood in its place, and his Wife 
was sitting on a bench by the door. 

She took him by the hand, and said, ' Come and look in 
here — isn't this much better ? ' 

They went inside and found a pretty sitting-room, and a 
bedroom with a bed in it, a kitchen and a larder furnished 
with everything of the best in tin and brass and every 
possible requisite. Outside there was a little yard with 
chickens and ducks, and a little garden full of vegetables and 

' Look ! ' said the Woman, ' is not this nice ? ' 

' Yes,' said the Man, ' and so let it remain. We can live 
here very happily.' 

' We will see about that,' said the Woman. With that they 
ate something and went to bed. 

Everything went well for a week or more, and then said the 
Wife, ' Listen, husband, this cottage is too cramped, and the 
garden is too small. The Flounder could have given us a bigger 
house. I want to live in a big stone castle. Go to the 
Flounder, and tell him to give us a castle.' 

' Alas, Wife,' said the Man, ' the cottage is good enough 
for us : what should we do with a castle ? ' 

' Never mind,' said his Wife, ' do thou but go to the 
Flounder, and he will manage it.' 

' Nay, Wife,' said the Man, ' the Flounder gave us the 
cottage. I don't want to go back ; as likely as not he '11 be 

' Go, all the same,' said the Woman. ' He can do it easily 
enough, and willingly into the bargain. Just go ! ' 

The Man's heart was heavy, and he was very unwilling to 
go. He said to himself, ' It 's not right.' But at last he went. 
D 49 


He found the sea was no longer green ; it was still calm, 
but dark violet and grey. He stood by it and said — 

' Flounder, Flounder in the sea, 
Prythee, hearken unto me : 
My Wife, Ilsebil, must have her own will, 
And sends me to beg a boon of thee.' 

' Now, what do you want ? ' said the Flounder. 

'Alas,' said the Man, half scared, 'my wife wants a big 
stone castle.' 

' Go home again,' said the Flounder, ' she is standing at the 
door of it.' 

Then the man went away thinking he would find no house, 
but when he got back he found a great stone palace, and his 
Wife standing at the top of the steps, waiting to go in. 

She took him by the hand and said, ' Come in with me.' 

With that they went in and found a great hall paved with 
marble slabs, and numbers of servants in attendance, who 
opened the great doors for them. The walls were hung with 
beautiful tapestries, and the rooms were furnished with golden 
chairs and tables, while rich carpets covered the floors, and 
crystal chandeliers hung from the ceilings. The tables 
groaned under every kind of delicate food and the most costly 
wines. Outside the house there was a great courtyard, with 
stabling for horses, and cows, and many fine carriages. 
Beyond this there was a great garden filled with the loveliest 
flowers, and fine fruit-trees. There was also a park, half a 
mile long, and in it were stags and hinds, and hares, and 
everything of the kind one could wish for. 

' Now,' said the Woman, ' is not this worth having ? ' 

' Oh yes,' said the Man ; ' and so let it remain. We will 
live in this beautiful palace and be content.' 

' We will think about that,' said his Wife, ' and sleep upon 

With that they went to bed. 

Next morning the Wife woke up first ; day was just dawn- 


ing, and from her bed she could see the beautiful country 
around her. Her husband was still asleep, but she pushed 
him with her elbow, and said, ' Husband, get up and peep out 
of the window. See here, now, could we not be King over 
all this land ? Go to the Flounder. We will be King.' 

' Alas, Wife,' said the Man, ' what should we be King for ? 
I don't want to be King.' 

' Ah,' said his Wife, ' if thou wilt not be King, I will. Go 
to the Flounder. I will be King.' 

' Alas, Wife,' said the Man, ' whatever dost thou want to be 
King for ? I don't like to tell him.' 

' Why not ? ' said the Woman. ' Go thou must. I will 
be King.' 

So the Man went ; but he Avas quite sad because his Wife 
would be King. 

' It is not right,' he said ; ' it is not right.' 

When he reached the sea, he found it dark, grey, and rough, 
and evil smelling. He stood there and said — 

' Flounder, Flounder in the sea, 
Prythee, hearken unto me : 
My Wife, Ilsebii, must have her own will, 
And sends me to beg a boon of thee.' 

' Now, what does she want ? ' said the Flounder. 

' Alas,' said the Man, ' she wants to be King now.' 

' Go back. She is King already,' said the Flounder. 

So the Man went back, and when he reached the palace 
he found that it had grown much larger, and a great tower 
had been added with handsome decorations. There was a 
sentry at the door, and numbers of soldiers were playing 
drums and trumpets. As soon as he got inside the house, 
he found everything was marble and gold ; and the hangings 
were of velvet, with great golden tassels. The doors of the 
saloon were thrown wide open, and he saw the whole court 
assembled. His Wife was sitting on a lofty throne of gold and 



diamonds ; she wore a golden crown, and carried in one hand 
a sceptre of pure gold. On each side of her stood her ladies 
in a long row, every one a head shorter than the next. 

He stood before her, and said : ' Alas, Wife, art thou now 
King ? ' 

' Yes,' she said ; ' now I am King.' 

He stood looking at her for some time, and then he said : 
' Ah, Wife, it is a fine thing for thee to be King ; now we will 
not wish to be anything more.' 

' Nay, husband,' she answered, quite uneasily ; ' I find the 
time hang very heavy on my hands. I can't bear it any 
longer. Go back to the Flounder. King I am, but I must 
also be Emperor.' 

' Alas, Wife,' said the Man, ' why dost thou now want to be 
Emperor ? ' 

' Husband,' she answered, ' go to the Flounder. Emperor 
I will be.' 

' Alas, Wife,' said the Man, ' Emperor he can't make thee, 
and I won't ask him. There is only one Emperor in the 
country ; and Emperor the Flounder cannot make thee, that 
he can't.' 

' What ? ' said the Woman. ' I am King, and thou art 
but my husband. To him thou must go, and that right 
quickly. If he can make a King, he can also make an 
Emperor. Emperor I will be, so go quickly.' 

He had to go, but he was quite frightened. And as he went, 
he thought, ' This won't end well ; Emperor is too shameless. 
The Flounder will make an end of the whole thing.' 

With that he came to the sea, but now he found it quite 
black, and heaving up from below in great waves. It tossed 
to and fro, and a sharp wind blew over it, and the man 
trembled. So he stood there, and said — 

' Flounder, Flounder in the sea, 
Prythee, hearken unto me : 
My Wife, Ilsehil, must have her own will, 
And sends me to beg a boon of thee.' 


' What does she want now ? ' said the Flounder. 

' Alas, Flounder,' he said, ' my Wife wants to be Emperor.' 

' Go back,' said the Flounder. ' She is Emperor.' 

So the man went back, and when he got to the door, he 
found that the whole palace Avas made of polished marble, 
with alabaster figures and golden decorations. Soldiers 
marched up and down before the doors, blowing their 
trumpets and beating their drums. Inside the palace, counts, 
barons, and dukes walked about as attendants, and they 
opened to him the doors, which were of pure gold. 

He went in, and saw his Wife sitting on a huge throne made 
of solid gold. It was at least two miles high. She had on 
her head a great golden crown set with diamonds three yards 
high. In one hand she held the sceptre, and in the other 
the orb of empire. On each side of her stood the gentlemen- 
at-arms in two rows, each one a little smaller than the other, 
from giants two miles high down to the tiniest dwarf no bigger 
than my little finger. She was surrounded by princes and 

Her husband stood still, and said : ' Wife, art thou now 
Emperor ? ' 

' Yes,' said she ; ' now I am Emperor.' 

Then he looked at her for some time, and said : ' Alas, 
Wife, how much better off art thou for being Emperor ? ' 

' Husband,' she said, ' what art thou standing there for ? 
Now I am Emperor, I mean to be Pope ! Go back to the 

' Alas, Wife,' said the Man, ' what wilt thou not want ? 
Pope thou canst not be. There is only one Pope in Christen- 
dom. That 's more than the Flounder can do.' 

' Husband,' she said, ' Pope I will be ; so go at once. I must 
be Pope this very day.' 

' No, Wife,' he said, ' I dare not tell him. It 's no good ; 
it 's too monstrous altogether. The Flounder cannot make 
thee Pope.' 

' Husband,' said the Woman, ' don't talk nonsense. If 



he can make an Emperor, he can make a Pope. Go immedi- 
ately. I am Emperor, and thou art but my husband, and 
thou must obey.' 

So he was frightened, and went ; but he was quite dazed. 
He shivered and shook, and his knees trembled. 

A great wind arose over the land, the clouds flew across the 
sky, and it grew as dark as night; the leaves fell from the 
trees, and the water foamed and dashed upon the shore. In 
the distance the ships were being tossed to and fro on the 
waves, and he heard them firing signals of distress. There 
was still a Uttle patch of blue in the sky among the dark 
clouds, but towards the south they were red and heavy, as in 
a bad storm. In despair, he stood and said — 

' Flounder, Flounder in the sea, 
Prythee, hearken unto me : 
My Wife, Ilsebil, must have her own will. 
And sends me to beg a boon of thee.' 

' Now, what does she want ? ' said the Flounder. 

' Alas,' said the Man, ' she wants to be Pope ! ' 

' Go back. Pope she is,' said the Flounder. 

So back he went, and he found a great church surrounded 
with palaces. He pressed through the crowd, and inside he 
found thousands and thousands of lights, and his Wife, 
entirely clad in gold, was sitting on a still higher throne, with 
three golden crowns upon her head, and she was surrounded 
with priestly state. On each side of her were two rows of 
candles, the biggest as thick as a tower, down to the tiniest 
little taper. Kings and Emperors were on their knees before 
her, kissing her shoe. 

' Wife,' said the Man, looking at her, ' art thou now Pope ? ' 

' Yes,' said she ; ' now I am Pope.' 

So there he stood gazing at her, and it was like looking at a 
shining sun. 

' Alas, Wife,' he said, ' art thou better off for being Pope ? ' 
At first she sat as stiff as a post, without stirring. Then he 


said : ' Now, Wife, be content with being Pope ; higher thou 
canst not go.' 

' I will think about that,' said the Woman, and with that 
they both went to bed. Still she was not content, and could 
not sleep for her inordinate desires. The Man slept well and 
soundly, for he had walked about a great deal in the day ; 
but his Wife could tliink of nothing but what further grandeur 

' Flounder, Flounder in the sea, 
Prythee, hearken unto me.' 

she could demand. When the dawn reddened the sky she 
raised herself up in bed and looked out of the window, and 
when she saw the sun rise, she said : 

' Ha ! can I not cause the sun and the moon to rise ? 
Husband ! ' she cried, digging her elbow into his side, ' wake 
up and go to the Flounder. I will be Lord of the Universe.' 

Her husband, who was still more than half asleep, was so 



shocked that he fell out of bed. He thought he must have 
heard wrong. He rubbed his eyes, and said : 

' Alas, Wife, what didst thou say ? ' 

' Husband,' she said, ' if I cannot be Lord of the Universe, 
and cause the sun and moon to set and rise, I shall not be able 
to bear it. I shall never have another happy moment.' 

She looked at him so wildly that it caused a shudder to run 
through him. 

' Alas, Wife,' he said, faUing on his knees before her, ' the 
Flounder can't do that. Emperor and Pope he can make, 
but that is indeed beyond him. I pray thee, control thyself 
and remain Pope.' 

Then she flew into a terrible rage. Her hair stood on end ; 
she kicked him and screamed — 

' I won't bear it any longer ; wilt thou go ! ' 

Then he pulled on his trousers and tore away like a madman. 
Such a storm was raging that he could hardly keep his feet : 
houses and trees quivered and swayed, and mountains trembled, 
and the rocks rolled into the sea. The sky was pitchy black ; 
it thundered and lightened, and the sea ran in black waves 
mountains high, crested with white foam. He shrieked out, 
but could hardly make himself heard — 

' Flounder, Flounder in the sea, 
Prytliee, hearken unto me : 
My Wife, Ilsebii, must have her own will, 
And sends me to beg a boon of thee.' 

' Now, what does she want ? ' asked the Flounder. 
' Alas,' he said, ' she wants to be Lord of the Universe.' 
' Now she must go back to her old hovel ; and there she is.' 
So there they are to this very day. 


The Wren and the Bear 

ONCE upon a time, in the summer, a Bear and a Wolf 
were taking a walk in a wood when the Bear heard 
a bird singing most beautifully, and he said, 
' Brother Wolf, what kind of bird is that singing so beauti- 
fully ? ' 

' That is the King of the birds, and we must bow down to it.' 
But really it was a Wren. 

' If that is so,' said the Bear, ' I should like to see his royal 
palace. Come, you must take me to it.' 

' That 's not so easy,' said the Wolf. ' You must wait till 
the Queen comes.' 

Soon after, the Queen made her appearance, bringing food 
in her beak, and the King came with her to feed their little 
ones. The Bear would have liked to go in at once, but the 
Wolf held him by the sleeve, and said, ' No ; now you must 
wait till the King and Queen fly away again.' 

So they marked the opening of the nest, and trudged on. 
But the Bear had no rest till he could see the royal palace, 
and before long he went back. 

The King and the Queen had gone out again. He peeped 
in, and saw five or six young ones lying in the nest. 

' Is that the royal palace ? ' cried the Bear. ' What a 
miserable place ! And do you mean to say that you are royal 
children ? You must be changelings ! ' 

When the young Wrens heard this, they were furious, and 
shrieked, ' No, indeed we 're not. Our parents are honest 
people ; we must have this out with you.' 

The Bear and the Wolf Avere very much frightened. They 
turned round and ran home to their dens. 



But the young Wrens continued to shriek and scream aloud ; 
and when their parents came back with more food, they said, 
' We won't touch so much as the leg of a fly, even if we starve, 
till you tell us whether we are really yoiu- lawful children or 
not. The Bear has been here calling us names.' 

Then said the old King, ' Only be quiet, and this shall be 
seen to.' 

Thereupon he and his wife the Queen flew off to the Bear 
in his den, and called in to him, ' Old Bruin, why have you 
been calling our children names ? It will turn out badly 
for you, and it will lead to a bloody war between us.' 

So war was declared, and all the four-footed animals were 
called together — the ox, the ass, the cow, the stag, the roedeer, 
and every other creature on the earth. 

But the Wren called together every creature which flew in 
the air, not only birds both large and small, but also the gnats, 
the hornets, the bees, and the flies. 

When the time came for the war to begin, the Wren sent 
out scouts to discover where the commanding generals of the 
enemv were to be found. The gnats were the most cunning 
of all. They swarmed in the wood where the enemy were 
assembled, and at last they hid themselves under a leaf of the 
tree where the orders were being given. 

The Bear called the Fox up to him and said, ' You are the 
slyest of all the animals, Reynard. You shall be our general, 
and lead us.' 

' Very good,' said the Fox ; ' but what shall we have for a 
signal ? ' But nobody could think of anything. Then said 
the Fox, ' I have a fine, long, bushy tail, which almost looks 
like a red feather brush. When I hold my tail erect, things 
are going well, and you must march forward at once ; but 
if it droops, you must all run away as hard as ever you 

When the gnats heard this they flew straight home and told 
the Wrens every detail. 

When the day broke, all the four-footed animals came 


rushing to the spot where the battle was to take place. They 
came with such a tramping that the earth shook. 

The Wren and his army also came swarming through the 
air ; they fluttered and buzzed enough to terrify one. And 
then they made for one another. 

The Wren sent the Hornet down with orders to seat herself 
under the tail of the Fox and to sting him with all her might. 

When the Fox felt the first sting he quivered, and raised 
one leg in the air ; but he bore it bravely, and kept his tail 
erect. At the second sting he was forced to let it droop for a 
moment, but the third time he could bear it no longer ; he 
screamed, and down went his tail between his legs. When the 
animals saw this they thought all was lost, and off they ran 
helter-skelter, as fast as they could go, each to his own den. 

So the birds won the battle. 

When it was over the King and the Queen flew home to 
their children, and cried, ' Children, be happy ! Eat and 
drink to your hearts' content ; we have won the battle.' 

But the young Wrens said, ' We won't eat till the Bear 
comes here to make an apology, and says that we are really 
and truly j^our lawful children.' 

The Wren flew to the Bear's den, and cried, ' Old Bruin, 
you will have to come and apologise to my children for calling 
them names, or else you will have all yoiu- ribs broken.' 

So in great terror the Bear crept to the nest and apologised, 
and at last the young Wrens were satisfied, and they ate and 
drank and made merry till far into the night. 


The Frog Prince 

IN the olden time, when wishing was some good, there 
hved a King whose daughters were all beautiful, but 
the youngest was so lovely that even the sun, that 
looked on many things, could not but marvel when he shone 
upon her face. 

Near the King's palace there was a large dark forest, and in 
the forest, under an old lime-tree, was a well. When the day 
was very hot the Princess used to go into the forest and sit 
upon the edge of this cool well ; and when she was tired of 
doing nothing she would play with a golden ball, throwing 
it up in the air and. catching it again, and this was her 
favourite game. Now on one occasion it so happened that the 
ball did not fall back into her hand stretched up to catch it, 
but dropped to the ground and rolled straight into the well. 
The Princess followed it with her eyes, but it disappeared, 
for the well was so very deep that it was quite impossible to 
see the bottom. Then she began to cry bitterly, and nothing 
would comfort her. 

As she was lamenting in this manner, some one called out to 
her, ' What is the matter, Princess ? Your lamentations 
would move the heart of a stone.' 

She looked round towards the spot whence the voice came, 
and saw a Frog stretching its broad, ugly face out of the water. 

' Oh, it 's you, is it, old splasher ? I am crying for my 
golden ball which has fallen into the water.' 

' Be quiet then, and stop crying,' answered the Frog. ' I 
know what to do ; but what will you give me if I get you back 
your plaything ? ' 

' Whatever you like, you dear old Frog,' she said. ' My 


clothes, my pearls and diamonds, or even the golden crown 
upon my head.' 

The Frog answered, ' I care neither for your clothes, your 
pearls and diamonds, nor even your golden crown ; but if 
you will be fond of me, and let me be your playmate, sit by 
you at table, eat out of your plate, drink out of your cup, and 
sleep in your little bed — if you will promise to do all this, I 
will go down and fetch your ball.' 

' I will promise anything you like to ask, if only you will 
get me back my ball.' 

She thought, ' What is the silly old Frog chattering about ? 
He lives in the well, croaking with his mates, and he can't be 
the companion of a human being.' 

As soon as the Frog received her promise, he ducked his 
head under the water and disappeared. After a little while, 
back he came with the ball in his mouth, and threw it on to the 
grass beside her. 

The Princess was full of joy when she saw her pretty toy 
again, picked it up, and ran off with it. 

' Wait, wait,' cried the Frog. ' Take me with you ; I can't 
run as fast as you can.' 

But what was the good of his crying ' Croak, croak,' as loud 
as he could ? She did not listen to him, but hurried home, 
and forgot all about the poor Frog ; and he had to go back 
to his well. 

The next day, as she was sitting at dinner with the King 
and all the courtiers, eating out of her golden plate, something 
came flopping up the stairs, flip, flap, flip, flap. When it 
reached the top it knocked at the door, and cried : ' Youngest 
daughter of the King, you must let me in.' She ran to see 
who it was. When she opened the door and saw the Frog she 
shut it again very quickly, and went back to the table, for she 
was very much frightened. 

The King saw that her heart was beating very fast, and he 
said : ' My child, what is the matter ? Is there a giant at the 
door wanting to take you away ? ' 



' Oh no ! ' she said : ' it 's not a giant, but a hideous Frog.' 

' What does the Frog want with you ? ' 

' Oh, father dear, last night, when I was playing by the well 
in the forest, my golden ball fell into the water. And I cried, 
and the Frog got it out for me ; and then, because he insisted 
on it, I promised that he should be my playmate. But I 
never thought that he would come out of the water, but there 
he is, and he wants to come in to me.' 

He knocked at the door for the second time, and sang — - 

' Youngest daugliter of the King, 
Take me up, I sing; 
Know'st thou not what yesterday 
Thou to me didst say 
By the well in forest dell. 
Youngest daughter of the King, 
Take me up, I sing.' 

Then said the King, ' What you have promised you must 
perform. Go and open the door for him.' 

So she opened the door, and the Frog shuffled in, keeping 
close to her feet, till he reached her chair. Then he cried, 
' Lift me up beside you.' She hesitated, till the King ordered 
her to do it. Wlien the Frog was put on the chair, he 
demanded to be placed upon the table, and then he said, 
' Push your golden plate nearer that we may eat together.' 
She did as he asked her, but very unwillingly, as could easily 
be seen. The Frog made a good dinner, but the Princess 
could not swallow a morsel. At last he said, ' I have eaten 
enough, and I am tired, carry me into your bedroom and 
arrange your silken bed, that we may go to sleep.' 

The Princess began to cry, for she was afraid of the clammy 
Frog, which she did not dare to touch, and which was now to 
sleep in her pretty little silken bed. But the King grew very 
angry, and said, ' You must not despise any one who has 
helped you in your need.' 

So she seized him with two fingers, and carried him upstairs, 
where she put him in a corner of her room. When she got into 


bed, he crept up to her, and said, ' I am tired, and I want to go 
to sleep as well as you. Lift me up, or I will tell your father.' 

She was very angry, picked him up, and threw him with 
all her might against the wall, saying, ' You may rest there 
as well as you can, you hideous Frog.' But when he fell to the 
ground, he was no longer a hideous Frog, but a handsome 
Prince with beautiful friendly eyes. 

And at her father's wish he became her beloved companion 
and husband. He told her that he had been bewitched by a 
wicked fairy, and nobody could have released him from the 
spells but she herself. 

Next morning, when the sun rose, a coach drove up drawn 
by eight milk-white horses, with white ostrich plumes on their 
heads, and golden harness. Behind stood faithful Henry, the 
Prince's body-servant. The faithful fellow had been so 
distressed when his master was changed into a Frog, that he 
had caused three iron bands to be placed round his heart, lest 
it should break from grief and pain. 

The coach had come to carry the young pair back into the 
Prince's own kingdom. The faithful Henry helped both of 
them into the coach and mounted again behind, delighted at 
his master's deliverance. 

They had only gone a little way when the Prince heard 
a cracking behind him, as if something were breaking. He 
turned round, and cried — ■ 

' " Henry, the coach is giving way ! " 
" No, Sir, the coach is safe, I say, 
A band from my heart has falFn in twain. 
For long I suffered woe and pain. 
While you a frog within a well 
Enchanted were by witch's spell ! " ' 

Once more he heard the same snapping and cracking, and 
then again. The Prince thought it must be some part of the 
carriage giving way, but it was only the bands round faithful 
Henry's heart which were snapping, because of his great joy 
at his master's deliverance and happiness. 


The Cat and Mouse in Partnership 


A CAT once made the 
acquaintance of a 
Mouse, and she said 
so much to it about her love 
and friendship that at last 
the Mouse agreed to go into 
partnership and live with her. 
' We must take precau- 
tions for the winter,' said the 
Cat, ' or we shall suffer from 
hunger. You, little Mouse, 
dare not venture everywhere, 
and in the end you will get 
me into a fix.' 

So the good advice was 
followed, and a pot of fat 
was purchased. They did not know where to keep it, but, 
after much deUberation, the Cat said, ' I know no place where 
it would be safer than in the church ; nobody dare venture 
to take anything there. We will put it under the altar, and 
will not touch it till we are obliged to.' 

So the pot was deposited in safety ; but, before long, the 
Cat began to hanker after it, and said to the Mouse : 

' Oh, little Mouse, my cousin has asked me to be godmother. 
She has brought a son into the world. He is white, with 
brown spots ; and I am to hold him at the font. Let me go 
out to-day, and you stay alone to look after the house.' 

' Oh yes,' said the Mouse, ' by all means go ; and if you 
have anything nice to eat, think of me. I would gladly have 
a drop of sweet raspberry wine myself.' 


Now there wasn't a word of truth in all this. The Cat had 
no cousin, and she had not been invited to be godmother at 
all. She went straight to the church, crept to the pot of fat, 
and began to lick it, and she licked and licked the whole of the 
top off it. Then she took a stroll on the house-tops and re- 
flected on her proceedings, after which she stretched herself in 
the sun, and wiped her whiskers every time she thought of 
the pot of fat. She did not go home till evening. 

' Oh, there you are again,' said the Mouse ; ' you must have 
had a merry time.' 

' Oh, well enough,' answered the Cat. 

' What kind of name was given to the child ? ' asked the 

' Top-off,' answered the Cat, drily. 

' Top-off ! ' cried the Mouse. ' What an extraordinary 
name ; is it a common one in your family ? ' 

' What does it matter ! ' said the Cat. ' It 's not worse 
than crumbstealers, as your godchildren are called.' 

Not long after the Cat was again overcome by her desires. 
She said to the Mouse, ' You must oblige me again by looking 
after the house alone. For the second time I have been asked 
to be sponsor, and, as the child has a white ring round its neck, 
I can't refuse.' 

The good little Mouse was quite ready to oblige, and the 
Cat stole away behind the city walls to the church, and ate 
half of the pot of fat. ' Nothing tastes better,' she said, ' than 
what one eats by oneself ' ; and she was quite satisfied with 
her day's work. When she got home, the Mouse asked what 
this child had been named. 

' Half-gone.' 

' What do you say ? I have never heard such a name in 
my life. I don't believe you would find it in the calendar.' 

Soon the Cat's mouth watered again for the dainty morsel. 

' Good things always come in threes,' she said to the Mouse ; 
' again I am to stand sponsor. This child is quite black, with 
big white paws, but not another white hair on its body. Such 
E G5 


a thing only occurs once in a few years. You will let me go 
out again, won't you ? ' 

' Top-off ! Half-gone ! They are such curious names ; 
they set me thinking.' 

' You sit at home in your dark grey velvet coat,' said the 
Cat, ' getting your head full of fancies. It all comes of not 
going out in the daytime.' 

During the Cat's absence, the Mouse cleared up and made 
the house tidy ; but the greedy Cat ate up all the fat. ' When 
it 's all gone, one can be at peace,' said she to herself, as she 
went home, late at night, fat and satiated. 

The Mouse immediately asked what name had been given 
to the third child. 

' I don't suppose it will please you any better,' said the 
Cat. ' He is called All-gone ! ' 

' All-gone ! ' exclaimed the Mouse. ' I have never seen it 
in print. All-gone ! What is the meaning of it ? ' 

She shook her head, rolled herself up, and went to sleep. 

From this time nobody asked the Cat to be sponsor. But 
when the winter came, and it grew very difficult to get food, the 
Mouse remembered their store, and said, ' Come, Cat, we will go to 
our pot of fat which we have saved up ; won't it be good now ? ' 

' Yes, indeed ! ' answered the Cat ; ' it will do you just as 
much good as putting your tongue out of the window.' 

They started off to the church, and when they got there 
they found the fat-pot still in its place, but it was quite empty. 

' Alas,' said the Mouse, ' now I see it all. Everything has 
come to the light of day. You have indeed been a true friend ! 
You ate it all up when you went to be godmother. First 
Top-off, then Half-gone, then ' 

' Hold yoiu" tongue,' cried the Cat. ' Another word, and 
I '11 eat you too.' 

But the unfortimate Mouse had ' All-gone ' on its hps, and 
hardly had it come out than the Cat made a spring, seized 
the Mouse, and gobbled it up. 

Now, that 's the way of the world, you see, 

The Goosegirl 

THERE was once an old Queen whose husband had been 
dead for many years, and she had a very beautiful 
daughter. When she grew up she was betrothed 
to a Prince in a distant country. When the time came for 
the maiden to be sent into this distant country to be married, 
the old Queen packed up quantities of clothes and jewels, 
gold and silver, cups and ornaments, and, in fact, everything 
suitable to a royal outfit, for she loved her daughter very 

She also sent a Waiting-woman to travel with her, and to 
put her hand into that of the bridegroom. They each had a 
horse. The Princess's horse was called Falada, and it could 

When the horn- of departure came, the old Queen went to her 
bedroom, and with a sharp little knife cut her finger and made 
it bleed. Then she held a piece of white cambric under it, 
and let three drops of blood fall on to it. This cambric she 
gave to her daughter, and said, ' Dear child, take good care of 
this ; it will stand you in good stead on the journey.' They 
then bade each other a sorrowful farewell. The Princess hid 
the piece of cambric in her bosom, mounted her horse, and set 
out to her bridegroom's country. 

When they had ridden for a time the Princess became very 
thirsty, and said to the Waiting-woman, ' Get down and fetch 
me some water in my cup from the stream. I must have 
something to drink.' 

' If you are thirsty,' said the Waiting- woman, ' dismount 
yourself, lie down by the water and drink. I don't choose 
to be yom- servant.' 



So, in her great thirst, the Princess dismounted and stooped 
down to the stream and drank, as she might not have her 
golden cup. The poor Princess said, ' Alas ! ' and the drops 
of blood answered, ' If your mother knew this, it would break 
her heart.' 

The royal bride was humble, so she said nothing, but 
mounted her horse again. Then they rode several miles 
further ; but the day was warm, the sun was scorching, and 
the Princess Avas soon thirsty again. 

When they reached a river she called out again to her 
Waiting- woman, ' Get down, and give me some water in my 
golden cup ! ' 

She had forgotten all abovit the rude words which had been 
said to her. But the Waiting-woman answered more 
haughtily than ever, ' If you want to drink, get the water for 
yourself. I won't be your servant.' 

Being very thirsty, the Princess dismounted, and knelt by 
the flowing water. She cried, and said, ' Ah me ! ' and the 
drops of blood answered, ' If your mother knew this it would 
break her heart.' 

While she stooped over the water to drink, the piece of 
cambric with the drops of blood on it fell out of her bosom, 
and floated away on the stream ; but she never noticed this 
in her great fear. The Waiting-woman, however, had seen 
it, and rejoiced at getting more power over the bride, who, 
by losing the drops of blood, had become weak and powerless. 

Now, when she was about to mount her horse Falada again, 
the Waiting-woman said, ' By rights, Falada belongs to me ; 
this jade will do for you ! ' 

The poor little Princess was obliged to give way. Then 
the Waiting-woman, in a harsh voice, ordered her to take off 
her royal robes, and to put on her own mean garments. 
Finally, she forced her to swear before heaven that she would 
not tell a creature at the Court what had taken place. Had 
she not taken the oath she would have been killed on the spot. 
But Falada saw all this and marked it. 


The Waiting - woman then mounted Falada and put 
the real bride on her poor jade, and they continued their 

There was great rejoicing when they arrived at the castle. 
The Prince hurried towards them, and Hfted the Waiting- 
woman from her horse, thinking she was his bride. She was 
led upstairs, but the real Princess had to stay below. 

The old King looked out of the window and saw the delicate, 
pretty little creature standing in the courtyard ; so he went 
to the bridal apartments and asked the bride about her 
companion, who was left standing in the courtyard, and 
wished to know who she was. 

' I picked her up on the way, and brought her with me for 
company. Give the girl something to do to keep her from 

But the old King had no work for her, and could not think 
of anything. At last he said, ' I have a Uttle lad who looks 
after the geese ; she may help him.' 

The boy was called little Conrad, and the real bride was sent 
with him to look after the geese. 

Soon after, the false bride said to the Prince, ' Dear husband, 
I pray you do me a favour.' 

He answered, ' That will I gladly,' 

' Well, then, let the knacker be called to cut off the head 
of the horse I rode ; it angered me on the way.' 

Really, she was afraid that the horse would speak, and tell 
of her treatment of the Princess. So it was settled, and the 
faithful Falada had to die. 

When this came to the ear of the real Princess, she promised 
the knacker a piece of gold if he would do her a slight service. 
There was a great dark gateway to the town, through which 
she had to pass every morning and evening. ' Would he nail 
up Falada's head in this gateway, so that she might see him 
as she passed ? ' 

The knacker promised to do as she wished, and when the 
horse's head was cut off, he hung it up in the dark gateway. 



In the early morning, when she and Conrad went through the 
gateway, she said in passing — 

' Alas ! dear Falada, there thou hangest.' 

And the Head answered — 

' Alas ! Queen's daughter, there thou gangest. 
If thy mother knew thv fate, 
Her heart would break with grief so great.' 

Then they passed on out of the town, right into the fields, 
with the geese. When they reached the meadow, the Princess 
sat down on the grass and let down her hair. It shone like 
pure gold, and when little Conrad saw it, he was so delighted 
that he wanted to pluck some out ; but she said — 

' Blow, blow, little breeze, 
And Conrad's hat seize. 
Let him join in the chase 
While away it is whirled. 
Till my tresses are curled 
And I rest in my place.'' 

Then a strong wind sprang up, which blew away Conrad's 
hat right over the fields, and he had to run after it. When 
he came back, she had finished combing her hair, and it was 
all put up again ; so he could not get a single hair. This 
made him very sulky, and he would not say another word to 
her. And they tended the geese till evening, when they went 

Next morning, when they passed under the gateway, the 
Princess said — 

' Alas ! dear Falada, there thou hangest.' 
Falada answered : — 

' Alas ! Queen's daughter, there thou gangest. 
If thy mother knew thy fate, 
Her heart would break with grief so great.' 



Again, when they reached the meadows, the Princess undid 
her hair and began combing it. Conrad ran to pluck some 
out ; but she said quickly — 

' Blow, blow, little breeze, 
And Conrad's hat seize. 
Let him join in the chase 
While away it is whirled, 
Till my tresses are curled 
And I rest in my place.' 

The wind sprang up and blew Conrad's hat far away over 
the fields, and he had to run after it. When he came back 
the hair was all put up again, and he could not pull a single 
hair out. And they tended the geese till the evening. When 
they got home Conrad went to the old King, and said, ' I 
won't tend the geese with that maiden again.' 

' Why not ? ' asked the King. 

' Oh, she vexes me every day.' 

The old King then ordered him to say what she did to vex 

Conrad said, ' In the morning, when we pass under the dark 
gateway with the geese, she talks to a horse's head which is 
hung up on the wall. She says — 

' Alas ! Falada, there thou hangest,' 

and the Head answers — 

'Alas! Queen's daughter, there thou gangest. 
If thy mother knew thy fate, 
Her heart would break with grief so great.' 

Then Conrad went on to tell the King all that happened in the 
meadow, and how he had to run after his hat in the wind. 

The old King ordered Conrad to go out next day as usual. 
Then he placed himself behind the dark gateway, and heard 
the Princess speaking to Falada's head. He also followed 
her into the field, and hid himself behind a bush, and with 
his own eyes he saw the Goosegirl and the lad come driving 



the geese into the field. Then, after a time, he saw the girl 
let down her hair, which glittered in the sun. Directly after 
this, she said — 

' Blow, blow, little breeze, 
And Conrad's hat seize. 
I^et him join in the chase 
While away it is whirled, 
Till my tresses are curled 
And I rest in my place.' 

Then came a puff of wind, which carried off Conrad's hat 
and he had to run after it. While he was away, the maiden 
combed and did up her hair ; and all this the old King 
observed. Thereupon he went away unnoticed ; and in the 
evening, when the Goosegirl came home, he called her aside 
and asked why she did all these things. 

' That I may not tell you, nor may I tell any human 
creature ; for I have sworn it under the open sky, because if 
I had not done so I should have lost my life.' 

He pressed her sorely, and gave her no peace, but he could 
get nothing out of her. Then he said, ' If you won't tell me, 
then tell your sorrows to the iron stove there ' ; and he went 

She crept up to the stove, and, beginning to weep and 
lament, unburdened her heart to it, and said : ' Here I am, 
forsaken by all the world, and yet I am a Princess. A false 
Waiting-woman brought me to such a pass that I had to take 
off my royal robes. Then she took my place with my bride- 
groom, while I have to do mean service as a Goosegirl. If 
my mother knew it she would break her heart.' 

The old King stood outside by the pipes of the stove, and 
heard all that she said. Then he came back, and told her to 
go away from the stove. He caused royal robes to be put 
upon her, and her beauty was a marvel. The old King called 
his son, and told him that he had a false bride — she was only a 
Waiting-woman ; but the true bride was here, the so-called 


The young Prince was charmed with her youth and beauty. 
A great banquet was prepared, to which all the courtiers and 
good friends were bidden. The bridegroom sat at the head 
of the table, with the Princess on one side and the Waiting- 
Woman at the other ; but she was dazzled, and did not 
recognise the Princess in her brilliant apparel. 

When they had eaten and drunk and were all very merry, 
the old King put a riddle to the Waiting- woman. ' What 
does a person deserve who deceives his master ? ' telling the 
whole story, and ending by asking, ' What doom does he 
deserve ? ' 

The false bride answered, ' No better than this. He must 
be put stark naked into a barrel stuck with nails, and be 
dragged along by two white horses from street to street till 
he is dead.' 

' That is your own doom,' said the King, ' and the judgment 
shall be carried out.' 

When the sentence was fulfilled, the young Prince married 
his true bride, and they ruled their kingdom together in peace 
and happiness. 


The Adventures of Chanticleer 
and Partlet 


CHANTICLEER said to Partlet one day, 'The nuts 
must be ripe ; now we will go up the hill together 
and have a good feast before the squirrel carries them 
all off.' 

' All right,' said Partlet, ' come along ; we '11 have a fine 
time.' So they went away up the hill, and, as it was a bright 
day, they stayed till evening. 

Now whether they really had grown fat, or whether it was 
merely pride, I do not know, but, whatever the reason, they 
would not walk home, and Chanticleer had to make a little 
carriage of nut-shells. When it was ready, Partlet took her 
seat in it, and said to Chanticleer, ' Now you get between the 

' That 's all very fine,' said Chanticleer, ' but I would sooner 
go home on foot than put myself in harness. I will sit on the 
box and drive, but draw it myself I never will.' 

As they were squabbUng over this, a Duck quacked out, 
' You thievish folk I Who told you to come to my nut-hill ? 
Just you wait, you will suffer for it.' 

Then she rushed at Chanticleer with open bill, but he was 
not to be taken by surprise, and fell upon her with his spurs 
till she cried out for mercy. At last she allowed herself to be 
harnessed to the carriage. Chanticleer seated himself on the 
box as coachman, and cried out unceasingly, ' Now, Duck, 
run as fast as you can.' 

When they had driven a little way they met two foot 


passengers, a Pin and a Needle. They called out, ' Stop ! 
stop ! ' They said it would soon be pitch dark, and they 
couldn't walk a step further, the road was so dirty ; might 
they not have a lift ? They had been to the Tailor's Inn by 
the gate, and had lingered over their beer. 

As they were both very thin, and did not take up much 
room, Chanticleer allowed them to get in, but he made them 
promise not to tread either on his toes, or on Partlet's. Late in 
the evening they came to an inn, and as they did not want to 
drive any further in the dark, and the Duck was getting rather 
uncertain on her feet, tvunbling from side to side, they drove in. 

The Landlord at first made many objections to having 
them, and said the house was already full ; perhaps he thought 
they were not very grand folk. But at last, by dint of 
persuasive words, and promising him the egg which Mrs. 
Partlet had laid on the way, and also that he should keep the 
Duck, who laid an egg every day, he consented to let them 
stay the night. 

Then they had a meal served to them, and feasted, and 
passed the time in rioting. 

In the early dawn, before it grew light, and every one was 
asleep, Partlet woke up Chanticleer, fetched the egg, pecked 
a hole in it, and between them they ate it all up, and threw the 
shells on to the hearth. Then they went to the Needle, which 
was still asleep, seized it by the head and stuck it in the cushion 
of the Landlord's arm-chair ; the Pin they stuck in his towel, 
and then, without more ado, away they flew over the heath. 
The Duck, which preferred to sleep in the open air, and had 
stayed in the yard, heard them whizzing by, and bestirred 
herself. She found a stream, and swam away down it; it 
was a much quicker way to get on than being harnessed to a 

A couple of hours later, the Landlord, who was the first 
to leave his pillow, got up and washed. When he took up the 
towel to dry himself, he scratched his face and made a long 
red line from ear to ear. Then he went to the kitchen to hght 



his pipe, but when he stooped over the hearth the egg-shells 
flew into his eye. 

' Everything goes to my head this morning,' he said 
angrily, as he dropped on to the cushion of his Grandfather's 
arm-chair. But he quickly bounded up again, and shouted, 
' Gracious me ! ' for the Needle had run into him, and this 
time not in the head. He grew furious, and his suspicions 
immediately fell on the guests who had come in so late the 
night before. When he went to look for them, they were 
nowhere to be seen. Then he swore never to take such 
ragamuffins into his house again ; for they ate a great deal, 
paid nothing, and played tricks, by way of thanks, into the 


Another day, when Partlet and Chanticleer were about to take 
a journey. Chanticleer built a fine carriage with four red 
wheels, and harnessed four little mice to it. Mrs. Partlet 
seated herself in it with Chanticleer, and they drove off together. 

Before long they met a Cat. ' Whither away ? ' said she. 

Chanticleer answered — 

' All on our way 
A visit to pay 
To Mr. Korbes at his liouse to-day.'' 

' Take me with you,' said the Cat. 

Chanticleer answered, ' With pleasure ; sit down behind, 
so that you don't fall out forwards.' 

' My wheels so red, pray have a care 
From any splash of mud to spare. 
Little wheels hurry ! 
Little mice scurry ! 
All on our way 
A visit to pay 

To Mr. Korbes at his house to-day.' 


Then came a Millstone, an Egg, a Duck, a Pin, and, last 
of all, a Needle. They all took their places in the carriage 
and went with the rest. 

But when they arrived at Mr. Korbes' house, he wasn't in. 
The mice drew the carriage into the coach-house, Partlet and 
Chanticleer flew on to a perch, the Cat sat down by the fire, 
the Duck lay down by the well-pole. The Egg rolled itself 
up in the towel, the Pin stuck itself into the cushion, the 
Needle sprang into the pillow on the bed, and the Millstone 
laid itself over the door. 

When Mr. Korbes came home, and went to the hearth to 
make a fire, the Cat threw ashes into his face. He ran into the 
kitchen to wash, and the Duck squirted water into his face ; 
seizing the towel to dry himself, the Egg rolled out, broke, 
and stuck up one of his eyes. He wanted to rest, and sat down 
in his arm-chair, when the Pin pricked him. He grew very 
angry, threw himself on the bed and laid his head on the 
pillow, when the Needle ran into him and made him cry out. 
In a fury he wanted to rush into the open air, but when he 
got to the door, the Millstone fell on his head and killed him. 
What a bad man Mr. Korbes must have been ! 


Partlet and Chanticleer went to the nut-hill on another 
occasion, and they arranged that whichever of them found 
a nut should share it with the other. 

Partlet found a huge nut, but said nothing about it, and 
meant to eat it all herself ; but the kernel was so big that she 
could not swallow it. It stuck in her throat, and she was 
afraid she would be choked. She shrieked, ' Chanticleer, 
Chanticleer, run and fetch some water as fast as you can, or 
I shall choke ! ' 

So Chanticleer ran as fast as he could to the Well, and 
said, ' Well, Well, you must give me some water ! Partlet 



is out on the nut-hill ; she has swallowed a big nut, and is 

The Well answered, ' First you must run to my Bride, 
and tell her to give you some red silk.' 

Chanticleer ran to the Bride, and said, ' Bride, Bride, give 
me some red silk : I will give the silk to the Well, and the 
Well will give me some water to take to Partlet, for she has 
swallowed a big nut, and is choking.' 

The Bride answered, ' Run first and fetch me a wreath 
which I left hanging on a willow.' 

So Chanticleer ran to the willow, pulled the wreath off the 
branch, and brought it to the Bride. The Bride gave him the 
red silk, which he took to the Well, and the Well gave him the 
water for it. Then Chanticleer took the water to Partlet ; 
but as it happened she had choked in the meantime, and lay 
there dead and stiff. Chanticleer's grief was so great that he 
cried aloud, and all the animals came and condoled with him. 

Six mice built a little car to draw Partlet to the grave ; 
and when the car was ready they harnessed themselves to it, 
and drew Partlet away. 

On the way, Reynard the fox joined them. 'Where are 
you going. Chanticleer ? ' 

' I 'm going to bury my wife, Partlet.' 

' May I go with you ? ' 

'Jump up behind, we're not yet full, 
A weight in front, niy nags can't pull.' 

So the Fox took a seat at the back, and he was followed 
by the wolf, the bear, the stag, the lion, and all the other 
animals of the forest. The procession went on, till they came 
to a stream. 

' How shall we ever get over ? ' said Chanticleer. 

A Straw was lying by the stream, and it said, ' I will stretch 
myself across, and then you can pass over upon me.' 

But when the six mice got on to the Straw it collapsed, and 
the mice fell into the water with it, and they were all drowned. 


So their difficulty was as great as ever. Then a Coal came 
along, and said, ' I am big enough, I will lie down, and you can 
pass over me.' 

So the Coal laid itself across the stream, but unfortunately 
it just touched the water, hissed, went out, and was dead. 
A stone, seeing this, had pity on them, and, wanting to help 
Chanticleer, laid itself over the water. Now Chanticleer drew 
the car, and he just managed to get across himself with the 
hen. Then he wanted to pull the others over who were 
hanging on behind, but it was too much for him, and the car 
fell back and they all fell into the water and were drowned. 

So Chanticleer was left alone with the dead hen, and he 
dug a grave and laid her in it. Then he made a mound over 
it, and seated himself upon it and grieved till he died ; and 
then they were all dead. 



THERE was once a man and his wife who had long 
wished in vain for a child, when at last they had 
reason to hope that Heaven would grant their wish. 
There was a little window at the back of their house, which 
overlooked a beautiful garden, full of lovely flowers and 
shrubs. It was, however, surrounded by a high wall, and 
nobody dared to enter it, because it belonged to a powerful 
Witch, who was feared by everybody. 

One day the woman, standing at this window and looking 
into the garden, saw a bed planted with beautiful ram pi on. 
It looked so fresh and green that it made her long to eat some 
of it. This longing increased every day, and as she knew it 
could never be satisfied, she began to look pale and miserable, 
and to pine away. Then her husband was alarmed, and said : 
' What ails you, my dear wife ? ' 

' Alas ! ' she answered, ' if I cannot get any of the rampion 
from the garden behind our house to eat, I shall die.' 

Her husband, who loved her, thought, ' Before you let 
your wife die, you must fetch her some of that rampion, cost 
what it may.' So in the twiUght he cUmbed over the wall 
into the Witch's garden, hastily picked a handful of rampion, 
and took it back to his wife. She immediately dressed it, 
and ate it up very eagerly. It was so very, very nice, that the 
next day her longing for it increased threefold. She could 
have no peace unless her husband fetched her some more. 
So in the twilight he set out again ; but when he got over the 
wall he was terrified to see the Witch before him. 

' How dare you come into my garden like a thief, and steal 
my rampion ? ' she said, with angry looks. ' It shall be the 
worse for you ! ' 


' Alas ! ' he answered, ' be merciful to me ; I am only here 
from necessity. My wife sees your rampion from the window, 
and she has such a longing for it, that she would die if she 
could not get some of it.' 

The anger of the Witch abated, and she said to him, ' If 
it is as you say, I will allow you to take away with you as 
much rampion as you like, but on one condition. You must 
give me the child which your wife is about to bring into the 
world. I will care for it like a mother, and all will be well 
with it.' In his fear the man consented to everything, and 
when the baby was born, the Witch appeared, gave it the 
name of Rapunzel (rampion), and took it away with her. 

Raptmzel was the most beautiful child under the sun. 
When she was twelve years old, the Witch shut her up in a 
tower which stood in a wood. It had neither staircase nor 
doors, and only a little window quite high up in the wall. 
When the Witch wanted to enter the tower, she stood at the 
foot of it, and cried — 

' Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair.' 

Rapunzel had splendid long hair, as fine as spun gold. 
As soon as she heard the voice of the Witch, she imfastened 
her plaits and twisted them round a hook by the window. 
They fell twenty ells downwards, and the Witch climbed up 
by them. 

It happened a couple of years later that the King's son 
rode through the forest, and came close to the tower. From 
thence he heard a song so lovely, that he stopped to listen. 
It was Rapunzel, who in her loneUness made her sweet voice 
resound to pass away the time. The King's son wanted to 
join her, and he sought for the door of the tower, but there 
was none to find. 

He rode home, but the song had touched his heart so 
deeply that he went into the forest every day to listen to it. 
Once, when he was hidden behind a tree, he saw a Witch 
come to the tower and call out — 

' Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair.' 

F 81 


Then Rapunzel lowered her plaits of haii' and the Witch 
climbed up to her. 

' If that is the ladder by which one ascends,' he thought, 
' I will try my luck myself.' And the next day, when it 
began to grow dark, he went to the tower and cried — 

' Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair.' 

The hair fell down at once, and the King's son climbed up 
by it. 

At first Rapunzel was terrified, for she had never set eyes 
on a man before, but the King's son talked to her kindly, and 
told her that his heart had been so deeply touched by her 
song that he had no peace, and he was obliged to see her. 
Then Rapunzel lost her fear, and when he asked if she would 
have him for her husband, and she saw that he was young 
and handsome, she thought, ' He will love me better than old 
Mother GotheL' So she said, ' Yes,' and laid her hand in his. 
She said, ' I will gladly go with you, but I do not know how I 
am to get down from this tower. When you come, will you 
bring a skein of silk with you every time. I will twist it into 
a ladder, and when it is long enough I will descend by it, and 
you can take me away with you on your horse.' 

She arranged with him that he should come and see her 
every evening, for the old Witch came in the daytime. 

The Witch discovered nothing, till suddenly Rapunzel 
said to her, ' Tell me, Mother Gothel, how can it be that you 
are so much heavier to draw up than the young Prince who 
will be here before long ? ' 

' Oh, you wicked child, what do you say ? I thought I 
had separated you from all the world, and yet you have 
deceived me.' In her rage she seized Rapunzel's beautiful 
hair, twisted it twice round her left hand, snatched up a pair 
of shears and cut off the plaits, which fell to the ground. 
She was so merciless that she took poor Rapunzel away into 
a wilderness, where she forced her to live in the greatest grief 
and misery. 

In the evening of the day on which she had banished 


Rapunzel, the Witch fastened the plaits which she had cut 
off to the hook by the window, and when the Prince came 
and called — 

' Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair,' 
she lowered the hair. The Prince climbed up, but there he 
found, not his beloved Rapunzel, but the Witch, who looked 
at him with angry and wicked eyes. 

' Ah ! ' she cried mockingly, ' you have come to fetch your 
ladylove, but the pretty bird is no longer in her nest ; and she 
can sing no more, for the cat has seized her, and it will scratch 
your own eyes out too. Rapunzel is lost to you ; you will 
never see her again.' 

The Prince was beside himself with grief, and in his despair 
he sprang out of the window. He was not killed, but his eyes 
were scratched out by the thorns among which he fell. He 
wandered about blind in the wood, and had nothing but roots 
and berries to eat. He did nothing but weep and lament 
over the loss of his beloved wife Rapunzel. In this way he 
wandered about for some years, till at last he reached the 
wilderness where Rapunzel had been living in great poverty 
with the twins who had been born to her, a boy and a girl. 

He heard a voice which seemed very familiar to him, and 
he went towards it. Rapunzel knew him at once, and fell 
weeping upon his neck. Two of her tears fell upon his eyes, 
and they immediately grew quite clear, and he could see as 
well as ever. 

He took her to his kingdom, where he was received with 
joy, and they lived long and happily together. 



THERE was once a Forester who went into the woods 
to hunt, and he heard a cry Uke that of a little child. 
He followed the sound, and at last came to a big 
tree where a tiny child was sitting high up on one of the top 
branches. The mother had gone to sleep under the tree, and 
a bird of prey, seeing the child on her lap, had flown down 
and carried it off in its beak to the top of the tree. 

The Forester climbed the tree and brought down the child, 
thinking to himself, ' I will take it home, and bring it up with 
my own little Lina.' 

So he took it home, and the two children were brought up 
together. The foundling was called Fundevogel, because it 
had been found by a bird. Fundevogel and Lina were so 
fond of each other, that they could not bear to be out of each 
other's sight. 

Now the Forester had an old Cook, who one evening took 
two pails, and began carrying water. She did not go once 
but many times, backwards and forwards to the well. 

Lina saw this, and said : ' Dear me, Sanna, why are you 
carrying so much water ? ' 

' If thou wilt not tell any one, I will tell thee why.' 

Lina said no, she would not tell any one. 

So then the Cook said : ' To-morrow morning early, when 
the Forester goes out hunting, I am going to boil the water, 
and when it bubbles in the kettle, I am going to throw 
Fundevogel into it to boil him.' 

Next morning the Forester got up very early, and went out 
hunting, leaving the children still in bed. 

She did not go once but many times, backwards and forwards to the well. 


Then said Lina to Fundevogel : ' Never forsake me, and 
I will never forsake thee.' 

And Fundevogel answered : ' I will never forsake thee.' 

Then Lina said : ' I must tell thee now. Old Sanna 
brought in so many pails of water last night, that I asked her 
what she was doing. She said if I would not tell anybody, 
she would tell me what it was for. So I promised not to tell 
anybody, and she said that in the morning, when the father 
had gone out hunting, she would fill the kettle, and when it 
was boiling, she would throw thee into it and boil thee. Now 
we must get up quickly, dress otu-selves, and run away.' 

So the children got up, dressed qviickly, and left the house. 

When the water boiled, the Cook went to their bedroom 
to fetch Fundevogel to throw him into it. But when she 
entered the room, and went up to the bed, both the children 
were gone. She was terribly frightened, and said to herself : 
' Whatever am I to say to the Forester when he comes home 
and finds the children gone ? We must hurry after them and 
get them back.' So the Cook despatched three men-servants 
to catch up the children and bring them back. 

The children were sitting near a wood, and when they saw 
the three men a great way off, Lina said to Fundevogel, ' Do 
not forsake me, and I will never forsake thee.' 

And Fundevogel answered, ' I will never forsake thee as 
long as I live.' 

Then Lina said, ' Thou must turn into a rosebush, and I 
will be a rosebud upon it.' 

When the three men reached the wood, they found nothing 
but a rosebush with one rosebud on it ; no children were to be 
seen. They said to each other, ' There is nothing to be done 
here.' And they went home and told the Cook that they had 
seen nothing whatever but a rosebush, with one rosebud on it. 

The old Cook scolded them, and said : ' You boobies, you 
ought to have hacked the rosebush to pieces, broken off the 
bud, and brought it home to me. Off with you at once and do 
it.' So they had to start off again on the search. 


But the children saw them a long way off, and Lina said 
to Fundevogel, ' Do not forsake me, and I will never forsake 

Fundevogel said : ' I will never forsake thee as long as I 

Then said Lina : ' Thou must become a church, and I will 
be the chandelier in it.' 

Now when the three men came up they found nothing but 
a church with a chandelier in it ; and they said to each other : 
' What are we to do here ? We had better go home again.' 

When they reached the house, the Cook asked if they had 
not found anything. They said : ' Nothing but a church with 
a chandelier in it.' 

' You fools,' screamed the Cook, ' why did you not destroy 
the church and bring me the chandelier ? ' Then the old Cook 
put her best foot foremost, and started herself with the three 
men in pursuit of the children. 

But the children saw the three men in the distance, and the 
old Cook waddhng behind them. Then said Lina : ' Funde- 
vogel, do not forsake me, and I will never forsake thee.' 

And he said : ' I will never forsake thee as long as I live.' 

Lina said : ' Thou must become a pond, and I will be the 
duck swimming upon it.' 

When the Cook reached the pond, she lay down beside it 
to drink it up, but the duck swam quickly forward, seized her 
head with his bill and dragged her under water ; so the old 
witch was drowned. 

Then the children went home together as happy as possible, 
and if they are not dead yet, then they are still alive. 


The Valiant Tailor 

A TAILOR was sitting on his table at the window one 
summer morning. He was a good fellow, and 
stitched with all his might. A peasant woman 
came down the street, crying, ' Good jam for sale ! good jam 
for sale ! ' 

This had a pleasant sound in the Tailor's ears ; he put his 
pale face out of the window, and cried, ' You '11 find a sale for 
your wares up here, good Woman.' 

The Woman went up the three steps to the Tailor, with the 
heavy basket on her head, and he made her unpack all her 
pots. He examined them all, lifted them up, smelt them, 
and at last said, ' The jam seems good ; weigh me out four 
ounces, good Woman, and should it come over the quarter 
poimd, it will be all the same to me.' 

The Woman, who had hoped for a better sale, gave him 
what he asked for, but went away cross, and grumbling to 

' That jam will be a blessing to me,' cried the Tailor ; 'it 
will give me strength and power.' He brought his bread out 
of the cupboard, cut a whole slice, and spread the jam on it. 
' It won't be a bitter morsel,' said he, ' but I will finish this 
waistcoat before I stick my teeth into it.' 

He put the bread down by his side, and went on with his 
semng, but in his joy the stitches got bigger and bigger. 
The smell of the jam rose to the wall, where the flies were 
clustered in swarms, and tempted them to come down, and 
they settled on the jam in masses. 

' Ah ! who invited you ? ' cried the Tailor, chasing away 
his unbidden guests. But the flies, who did not understand 


his language, were not to be got rid of so easily, and came back 
in greater numbers than ever. At last the Tailor came to the 
end of his patience, and seizing a bit of cloth, he cried, ' Wait 
a bit, and I '11 give it you ! ' So saying, he struck out at them 
mercilessly. When he looked, he found no fewer than seven 
dead and motionless. ' So that's 
the kind of fellow you are,' he 
said, admiring his own valour. 
'The whole town shall know of 

In great haste he cut out a 
belt for himself, and stitched on 
it, in big letters, ' Seven at one 
blow ! ' ' The town ! ' he then 
said, ' the whole world shall know 
of it ! ' And his heart wagged 
for very joy like the tail of a 
lamb. The Tailor fastened the 
belt round his waist, and wanted 
to start out into the world at 
once ; he found his workshop 
too small for his valour. Before 
starting, he searched the house 
to see if there was anything to 
take with him. He only found 
an old cheese, but this he put 
into his pocket. By the gate he 
saw a bird entangled in a thicket, 
and he put that into his pocket 
with the cheese. Then he boldly 
took to the road, and as he was 
light and active, he felt no fatigue. The road led up a 
mountain, and when he reached the highest point, he found 
a huge Giant sitting there comfortably looking round him. 

The Tailor went pluckily up to him, and addressed him. 

' Good-day, Comrade, you are sitting there surveying the 


Wait a bit, and I'll give it you ! 

.So saying, he struck out at 

them mercilessly. 


wide world, I suppose. I am just on my way to try my luck. 
Do you feel inclined to go with me ? ' 

The Giant looked scornfully at the Tailor, and said, ' You 
jackanapes ! you miserable ragamuffin ! ' 

' That may be,' said the Tailor, unbuttoning his coat and 
showing the Giant his belt. ' You may just read what kind 
of fellow I am.' 

The Giant read, ' Seven at one blow,' and thought that it 
was people the Tailor had slain ; so it gave him a certain 
amovmt of respect for the little fellow. Still, he thought he 
would try him ; so he picked up a stone and squeezed it till 
the water dropped out of it. 

' Do that,' he said, ' if you have the strength.' 

' No more than that ! ' said the Tailor ; ' why, it 's a mere 
joke to me.' 

He put his hand into his pocket, and pulling out the bit 
of soft cheese, he squeezed it till the moisture ran out. 

' I guess that will equal you,' said he. 

The Giant did not know what to say, and could not have 
believed it of the little man. 

Then the Giant picked up a stone, and threw it up so high 
that one could scarcely follow it with the eye. 

' Now, then, you sample of a inannikin, do that after me.' 

' Well thrown ! ' said the Tailor, ' but the stone fell to the 
ground again. Now I will throw one for you which will never 
come back again.' 

So saying, he put his hand into his pocket, took out the 
bird, and threw it into the air. The bird, rejoiced at its 
freedom, soared into the air, and was never seen again. 

' What do you think of that. Comrade ? ' asked the Tailor. 

' You can certainly throw ; but now we will see if you are 
in a condition to carry anything,' said the Giant. 

He led the Tailor to a mighty oak which had been felled, 
and which lay upon the ground. 

' If you are strong enough, help me out of the wood with 
this tree,' he said. 


' Willingly,' answered the little man. ' You take the trunk 
on your shoulder, and I will take the branches ; they must 
certainly be the heaviest.' 

The Giant accordingly took the trunk on his shoulder; 
but the Tailor seated himself on one of the branches, and the 
Giant, who could not look round, had to carry the whole tree, 
and the Tailor into the bargain. The Tailor was very merry 
on the end of the tree, and whistled ' Three Tailors rode merrily 
out of the town,' as if tree-carrying were a joke to him. 

When the Giant had carried the tree some distance, he 
could go no further, and exclaimed, ' Look oiit, I am going to 
drop the tree.' 

The Tailor sprang to the ground with great agility, and 
seized the tree with both arms, as if he had been carrying it 
all the time. He said to the Giant : ' Big fellow as you are, 
you can't carry a tree.' 

After a time they went on together, and when they came 
to a cherry-tree, the Giant seized the top branches, where the 
cherries ripened first, bent them down, put them in the Tailor's 
hand, and told him to eat. The Tailor, however, was much 
too weak to hold the tree, and when the Giant let go, the tree 
sprang back, carrying the Tailor with it into the air. When 
he reached the ground again, Avithout any injury, the Giant 
said, ' What 's this ? Haven't you the strength to hold a 
feeble sapling ? ' 

' It 's not strength that 's wanting,' answered the Tailor. 
' Do you think that would be anything to one who killed 
seven at a blow ? I sprang over the tree because some 
sportsmen were shooting among the bushes. Spring after 
me if you like.' 

The Giant made the attempt, but he could not clear the 
tree, and stuck among the branches. So here, too, the Tailor 
had the advantage of him. 

The Giant said, ' If you are such a gallant fellow, come 
with me to our cave, and stay the night with us.' 

The Tailor was quite willing, and went with him. When 



they reached the cave, they found several other Giants sitting 
round a fire, and each one held a roasted sheep in his hand, 
which he was eating. The Tailor looked about him, and 
thought, ' It is much more roomy here than in my workshop.' 

The Giant showed him a bed, and told him to lie down 
and have a good sleep. The bed was much too big for the 
Tailor, so he did not lie down in it, but crept into a corner. 
At midnight, when the Giant thought the Tailor would be in 
a heavy sleep, he got up, took a big oak club, and with one 
blow crashed right through the bed, and thought he had put 
an end to the grasshopper. Early in the morning the Giants 
went out into the woods, forgetting all about the Tailor, 
when all at once he appeared before them, as lively as possible. 
They were terrified, and thinking he would strike them all 
dead, they ran off as fast as ever they could. 

The Tailor went on his way, always following his own 
pointed nose. When he had walked for a long time, he came 
to the courtyard of a royal palace. He was so tired that he 
lay down on the grass and went to sleep. While he lay and 
slept, the people came and inspected him on all sides, and they 
read on his belt, ' Seven at one blow.' ' Alas ! ' they said, 
' why does this great warrior come here in time of peace ; 
he must be a mighty man.' 

They went to the King and told him about it ; and they 
were of opinion that, should war break out, he would be a 
useful and powerful man, who should on no account be allowed 
to depart. This advice pleased the King, and he sent one of 
his courtiers to the Tailor to offer him a military appointment 
when he woke up. The messenger remained standing by the 
Tailor, till he opened his eyes and stretched himself, and then 
he made the offer. 

' For that very purpose have I come,' said the Tailor. ' I 
am quite ready to enter the King's service.' 

So he was received with honour, and a special dAvelling was 
assigned to him. 

The Soldiers, however, bore him a grudge, and wished him 


a thousand miles away. ' What will be the end of it ? ' they 
said to each other. ' When we quarrel with him, and he 
strikes out, seven of us will fall at once. One of us can't cope 
with him.' So they took a resolve, and went all together to 
the King, and asked for their discharge. ' We are not made,' 
said they, ' to hold our own with a man who strikes seven at 
one blow.' 

It grieved the King to lose all his faithful servants for the 
sake of one man ; he wished he had never set eyes on the 
Tailor, and was quite ready to let him go. He did not dare, 
however, to give him his dismissal, for he was afraid that he 
would kill him and all his people, and place himself on the 
throne. He pondered over it for a long time, and at last he 
thought of a plan. He sent for the Tailor, and said that as he 
was so great a warrior, he would make him an offer. In a 
forest in his kingdom lived two giants, who, by robbery, 
murder, burning, and laying waste, did much harm. No one 
dared approach them without being in danger of his life. If 
he could subdue and kill these two Giants, he would give him 
his only daughter to be his wife, and half his kingdom as a 
dowry ; also he would give him a hundred Horsemen to 
accompany and help him. 

' That would be something for a man like me,' thought the 
Tailor. ' A beautiful Prixicess and half a kingdom are not 
offered to one every day.' ' Oh yes,' was his answer, ' I will 
soon subdue the Giants, and that without the hundred Horse- 
men. He who slays seven at a blow need not fear two.' The 
Tailor set out at once, accompanied by the hundred Horse- 
men ; but when he came to the edge of the forest, he said to 
his followers, ' Wait here, I will soon make an end of the Giants 
by myself.' 

Then he disappeared into the wood ; he looked about to 
the right and to the left. Before long he espied both the 
Giants lying under a tree fast asleep, and snoring. Their 
snores were so tremendous that they made the branches of 
the tree dance up and down. The Tailor, who was no fool, 



filled his pockets with stones, and climbed up the tree. When 
he got half-way up, he slipped on to a branch just above the 
sleepers, and then hurled the stones, one after another, on to 
one of them. 

It was some time before the Giant noticed anything ; 
then he woke up, pushed his companion, and said, ' What are 
you hitting me for ? ' 

' You 're dreaming,' said the other. ' I didn't hit you.' 
They went to sleep again, and the Tailor threw a stone at the 
other one. ' What 's that ? ' he cried. ' What are you 
throwing at me ? ' 

' I 'm not throwing anything,' answered the first one, 
with a growl. 

They quarrelled over it for a time, but as they were sleepy, 
they made it up, and their eyes closed again. 

The Tailor began his game again, picked out his biggest 
stone, and threw it at the first Giant as hard as he could. 

' This is too bad,' said the Giant, flying up like a madman. 
He pushed his companion against the tree with such violence 
that it shook. The other paid him back in the same coin, 
and they worked themselves up into such a rage that they 
tore up trees by the roots, and hacked at each other till they 
both fell dead upon the ground. 

Then the Tailor jumped down from his perch. ' It was 
very lucky,' he said, ' that they did not tear up the tree I was 
sitting on, or I should have had to spring on to another like a 
squirrel, but we are nimble fellows.' He drew his sword, and 
gave each of the Giants two or three cuts in the chest. Then 
he went out to the Horsemen, and said, ' The work is done. 
I have given both of them the finishing stroke, but it was a 
difficult job. In their distress they tore trees up by the root 
to defend themselves ; but all that 's no good when a man like 
me comes, who slays seven at a blow.' 

' Are you not wounded ? ' then asked the Horsemen. 

' There was no danger,' answered the Tailor. ' Not a hair 
of my head was touched.' 


The Horsemen would not believe him, and rode into the 
forest to see. There, right enough, lay the Giants in pools of 
blood, and, round about them, the uprooted trees. 

The Tailor now demanded his promised reward from the 
King ; but he, in the meantime, had repented of this promise, 
and was again trying to think of a plan to shake him off. 

' Before I give you my daughter and the half of my 
kingdom, you must perform one more doughty deed. There 
is a Unicorn which runs about in the forests doing vast 
damage ; you must capture it.' 

' I have even less fear of one Unicorn than of two Giants. 
Seven at one stroke is my style.' He took a rope and an axe, 
and went into the wood, and told his followers to stay outside. 
He did not have long to wait. The Unicorn soon appeared, 
and dashed towards the Tailor, as if it meant to run him through 
with its horn on the spot. ' Softly, softly,' cried the Tailor. 
' Not so fast.' He stood still, and waited till the animal got 
quite near, and then he very nimbly dodged behind a tree. 
The Unicorn rushed at the tree, and ran its horn so hard into 
the trunk that it had not strength to pull it out again, and so 
it was caught. ' Now I have the prey,' said the Tailor, coming 
from behind the tree. He fastened the rope round the 
creature's neck, and, with his axe, released the horn from the 
tree. When this was done he led the animal away, and took 
it to the King. 

Still the King would not give him the promised reward, 
but made a third demand of him. Before the marriage, the 
Tailor must catch a Boar which did much damage in the 
woods : the Huntsmen were to help him, 

' Willingly,' said the Tailor. ' That will be mere child's 

He did not take the Huntsmen into the wood with him, 
at which they were well pleased, for they had already more 
than once had such a reception from the Boar that they had no 
wish to encounter him again. When the Boar saw the Tailor, 
it flew at him with foaming mouth, and, gnashing its teeth, 



tried to throw him to the ground ; but the nimble hero darted 
into a Uttle chapel which stood near. He jumped out again 
immediately by the window. The Boar rushed in after the 
Tailor ; but he by this time was hopping about outside, and 
quickly shut the door upon the Boar. So the raging animal 
was caught, for it was far too heavy and clumsy to jump out 
of the window. The Tailor called the Huntsmen up to see 
the captive with their own eyes. 

The hero then went to the King, who was now obliged to 
keep his word, whether he liked it or not ; so he handed over 
his daughter and half his kingdom to him. Had he known 
that it was no warrior but only a Tailor who stood before him, 
he would have taken it even more to heart. The marriage was 
held with much pomp, but little joy, and a King was made out 
of a Tailor. 

After a time the young Queen heard her husband talking 
in his sleep, and sajdng, ' Apprentice, bring me the waistcoat, 
and patch the trousers, or I will break the yard measure over 
your head.' So in this manner she discovered the young 
gentleman's origin. In the morning she complained to the 
King, and begged him to rid her of a husband who was nothing 
more than a Tailor. 

The King comforted her, and said, ' To-night, leave your 
bedroom door open. My servants shall stand outside, and 
when he is asleep they shall go in and bind him. They shall 
then carry him away, and put him on board a ship which 
will take him far away.' 

The lady was satisfied with this ; but the Tailor's armour- 
bearer, who was attached to his young lord, told him the 
whole plot. 

' I will put a stop to their plan,' said the Tailor. 

At night he went to bed as usual with his wife. When 
she thought he was asleep, she got up, opened the door, and 
went to bed again. The Tailor, who had only pretended to be 
asleep, began to cry out in a clear voice, ' Apprentice, bring 
me the waistcoat, and you patch the trousers, or I will break 


the yard measure over your head. I have slain seven at a 
blow, killed two Giants, led captive a Unicorn, and caught a 
Boar ; should I be afraid of those who are standing outside 
my chamber door ? ' 

When they heard the Tailor speaking like this, the servants 
were overcome by fear, and ran away as if wild animals were 
after them, and none of them would venture near him again. 

So the Tailor remained a King till the day of his death. 


Hansel and Grethel 

CLOSE to a large forest there lived a Woodcutter with 
his Wife and his two children. The boy was called 
Hansel, and the girl Grethel. They were always very 
poor, and had very little to live on ; and at one time, when 
there was famine in the land, he could no longer procure daily 

One night he lay in bed worrying over his troubles, and he 
sighed and said to his Wife : ' What is to become of us ? 
How are we to feed our poor children when we have nothing 
for ourselves ? ' 

' I '11 tell you what. Husband,' answered the Woman, 
' to-morrow morning we will take the children out quite early 
into the thickest part of the forest. We will light a fire, and 
give each of them a piece of bread ; then we will go to our 
work and leave them alone. They won't be able to find their 
way back, and so we shall be rid of them.' 

' Nay, Wife,' said the Man ; ' we won't do that. I could 
never find it in my heart to leave my children alone in the 
forest ; the wild animals would soon tear them to pieces.' 

' What a fool you are ! ' she said. ' Then we must all four 
die of hunger. You may as well plane the boards for our 
coffins at once.' 

She gave him no peace till he consented. ' But I grieve 
over the poor children all the same,' said the Man, 

The two children could not go to sleep for hunger either, 
and they heard what their Stepmother said to their Father. 

Grethel wept bitterly, and said : ' All is over with us 
now I ' 

' Be quiet, Grethel ! ' said Hansel. ' Don't cry ; I will 
find some way out of it.' 


When the old people had gone to sleep, he got up, put on 
his little coat, opened the door, and slipped out. The moon 
was shining brightly, and the white pebbles round the house 
shone like newly-minted coins. Hansel stooped down and 
put as many into his pockets as they would hold. 

Then he went back to Grethel, and said : ' Take comfort, 
little sister, and go to sleep. God won't forsake us.' And 
then he went to bed again. 

When the day broke, before the sun had risen, the Woman 
came and said : ' Get up, you lazybones ; we are going into 
the forest to fetch wood.' 

Then she gave them each a piece of bread, and said : 
' Here is something for your dinner, but mind you don't eat 
it before, for you '11 get no more.' 

Grethel put the bread under her apron, for Hansel had the 
stones in his pockets. Then they all started for the forest. 

When they had gone a little way. Hansel stopped and looked 
back at the cottage, and he did the same thing again and again. 

His Father said : ' Hansel, what are you stopping to look 
back at ? Take care, and put your best foot foremost.' 

' O Father ! ' said Hansel, ' I am looking at my white 
cat, it is sitting on the roof, wanting to say good-bye to me.' 

' Little fool ! that 's no cat, it 's the morning sun shining 
on the chimney.' 

But Hansel had not been looking at the cat, he had been 
dropping a pebble on to the ground each time he stopped. 
When they reached the middle of the forest, their Father said: 

' Now, children, pick up some wood, I want to make a fire 
to warm you.' 

Hansel and Grethel gathered the twigs together and soon 
made a huge pile. Then the pile was lighted, and when it 
blazed up, the Woman said : ' Now lie down by the fire and 
rest yourselves while we go and cut wood ; when we have 
finished we will come back to fetch you.' 

Hansel and Grethel sat by the fire, and when dinner-time 
came they each ate their little bit of bread, and they thought 


' Hansel picked up the glittering white pebbles and filled bis pockets with them. 


their Father was quite near because they could hear the sound 
of an axe. It was no axe, however, but a branch which the 
Man had tied to a dead tree, and which blew backwards and 
forwards against it. They sat there such a long time that 
they got tired, their eyes began to close, and they were soon 
fast asleep. 

When they woke it was dark night. Grethel began to 
cry : ' How shall we ever get out of the wood ! ' 

But Hansel comforted her, and said : ' Wait a little till the 
moon rises, then we Avill soon find our way.' 

When the full moon rose, Hansel took his little sister's 
hand, and they walked on, guided by the pebbles, which 
glittered like newly-coined money. They walked the whole 
night, and at daybreak they found themselves back at their 
Father's cottage. 

They knocked at the door, and when the Woman opened 
it and saw Hansel and Grethel, she said : ' You bad children, 
why did you sleep so long in the wood ? We thought you did 
not mean to come back any more.' 

But their Father was delighted, for it had gone to his 
heart to leave them behind alone. 

Not long after they were again in great destitution, and 
the children heard the Woman at night in bed say to their 
Father : ' We have eaten up everything again but half a loaf, 
and then we are at the end of everything. The children must 
go away ; we will take them further into the forest so that 
they won't be able to find their way back. There is nothing 
else to be done.' 

The Man took it much to heart, and said : ' We had better 
share our last crust with the children.' 

But the Woman would not listen to a Avord he said, she 
only scolded and reproached him. Any one who once says A 
must also say B, and as he had given in the first time, he had 
to do so the second also. The children were again wide awake 
and heard what was said. 

When the old people went to sleep Hansel again got up, 



meaning to go out and get some more pebbles, but the Woman 
had locked the door and he couldn't get out. But he con- 
soled his little sister, and said : 

' Don't cry, Grethel ; go to sleep. God will help us.' 

In the early morning the Woman made the children get 
up, and gave them each a piece of bread, but it was smaller 
than the last. On the way to the forest Hansel crumbled it 
up in his pocket, and stopped every now and then to throw 
a crumb on to the ground. 

' Hansel, what are you stopping to look about you for ? ' 
asked his Father. 

' I am looking at my dove which is sitting on the roof and 
wants to say good-bye to me,' answered Hansel. 

' Little fool ! ' said the Woman, ' that is no dove, it is the 
morning sun shining on the chimney.' 

Nevertheless, Hansel strewed the crumbs from time to time 
on the ground. The Woman led the children far into the 
forest where they had never been in their lives before. Again 
they made a big fire, and the Woman said : 

' Stay where you are, children, and when you are tired 
you may go to sleep for a while. We are going further on to 
cut wood, and in the evening when we have finished we will 
come back and fetch you.' 

At dinner-time Grethel shared her bread with Hansel, 
for he had crumbled his up on the road. Then they went to 
sleep, and the evening passed, but no one came to fetch the 
poor children. 

It was quite dark when they woke up, and Hansel cheered 
his little sister, and said : ' Wait a bit, Grethel, till the moon 
rises, then we can see the bread-crumbs which I scattered to 
show us the way home.' 

When the moon rose they started, but they found no bread- 
crumbs, for all the thousands of birds in the forest had pecked 
them up and eaten them. 

Hansel said to Grethel : ' We shall soon find the Avay.' 

But they could not find it. They walked the whole night, 


and all the next day from morning till night, but they could 
not get out of the wood. 

They were very hungry, for they had nothing to eat but a 
few berries which they found. They were so tired that their 
legs would not carry them any further, and they lay down 
under a tree and went to sleep. 

When they woke in the morning, it was the third day since 
they had left their Father's cottage. They started to walk 
again, but they only got deeper and deeper into the wood, 
and if no help came they must perish. 

At midday they saw a beautiful snow-white bird sitting 
on a tree. It sang so beautifully that they stood still to listen 
to it. When it stopped, it fluttered its wings and flew round 
them. They followed it till they came to a little cottage, on 
the roof of which it settled itself. 

When they got quite near, they saw that the little house 
was made of bread, and it was roofed with cake ; the windows 
were transparent sugar. 

' This will be something for us,' said Hansel. ' We will 
have a good meal. I will have a piece of the roof, Grethel, 
and you can have a bit of the window, it will be nice and 

Hansel stretched up and broke off a piece of the roof to 
try what it was like. Grethel went to the window and nibbled 
at that. A gentle voice called out from within : 

' Nibbling, nibbling like a mouse, 
Who 's nibbling at my little house ? ' 

The children answered : 

' The wind, the wind doth blow 
From heaven to earth below,' 

and went on eating without disturbing themselves. Hansel, 
who found the roof very good, broke off a large piece for 
himself ; and Grethel pushed a whole round pane out of the 
window, and sat down on the ground to enjoy it. 



All at once the door opened and an old, old Woman, 
supporting herself on a crutch, came hobbling out. Hansel 
and Grethel were so frightened, that they dropped what they 
held in their hands. 

But the old Woman only shook her head, and said : ' Ah, 
dear children, who brought you here ? Come in and stay 
with me ; you will come to no harm.' 

She took them by the hand and led them into the little 
house. A nice dinner was set before them, pancakes and 
sugar, milk, apples, and nuts. After this she showed them 
two little white beds into which they crept, and felt as if they 
were in Heaven. 

Although the old Woman appeared to be so friendly, she 
was really a wicked old Witch who was on the watch for 
children, and she had built the bread house on pvu^pose to lure 
them to her. Whenever she could get a child into her clutches 
she cooked it and ate it, and considered it a grand feast. 
Witches have red eyes, and can't see very far, but they have 
keen scent like animals, and can perceive the approach of 
human beings. 

When Hansel and Grethel came near her, she laughed 
wickedly to herself, and said scornfully • ' Now I have them, 
they shan't escape me.' 

She got up early in the morning, before the children were 
awake, and when she saw them sleeping, with their beautiful 
rosy cheeks, she murmured to herself : ' They will be dainty 

She seized Hansel with her bony hand and carried him off 
to a little stable, where she shut him up with a barred door ; 
he might shriek as loud as he liked, she took no notice of him. 
Then she went to Grethel and shook her till she woke, and 
cried : 

' Get up, little lazy-bones, fetch some water and cook 
something nice for your brother ; he is in the stable, and has 
to be fattened. When he is nice and fat, I will eat him.' 

Grethel began to cry bitterly, but it was no use, she had 


to obey the Witch's orders. The best food was now cooked 
for poor Hansel, but Grethel only had the shells of cray- 

The old Woman hobbled to the stable every morning, 
and cried : ' Hansel, put your finger out for me to feel how 
fat you are.' 

Hansel put out a knuckle-bone, and the old Woman, whose 
eyes were dim, could not see, and thought it was his finger, 
and she was much astonished that he did not get fat. 

When four weeks had passed, and Hansel still kept thin, 
she became very impatient and would wait no longer. 

' Now then, Grethel,' she cried, ' bustle along and fetch 
the water. Fat or thin, to-morrow I will kill Hansel and eat 

Oh, how his poor little sister grieved. As she carried the 
water, the tears streamed down her cheeks. 

' Dear God, help us ! ' she cried. ' If only the wild 
animals in the forest had devoured us, we should, at least, 
have died together.' 

' You may spare your lamentations ; they will do you no 
good,' said the old Woman. 

Early in the morning Grethel had to go out to fill the 
kettle with water, and then she had to kindle a fire and hang 
the kettle over it. 

' We will bake first,' said the old Witch. ' I have heated 
the oven and kneaded the dough.' 

She pushed poor Grethel towards the oven, and said : 
' Creep in and see if it is properly heated, and then we will 
put the bread in.' 

She meant, when Grethel had got in, to shut the door and 
roast her. 

But Grethel saw her intention, and said : ' I don't know 
how to get in. How am I to manage it ? ' 

' Stupid goose ! ' cried the Witch. ' The opening is big 
enough ; you can see that I could get into it myself.' 

She hobbled up, and stuck her head into the oven. But 



Grethel gave her a push which sent the Witch right in, and 
then she banged the door and bolted it. 

' Oh ! oh ! ' she began to howl horribly. But Grethel 
ran away and left the wicked Witch to perish miserably. 

Grethel ran as fast as she could to the stable. She opened 
the door, and cried : ' Hansel, we are saved. The old Witch 
is dead.' 

■ stupid 

t;(l tlie Wilcli. ' Tlie opening is big enough ; jou can see 
that I could get into it myself.' 

Hansel sprang out, like a bird out of a cage when the door 
is set open. How delighted they were. They fell upon each 
other's necks, and kissed each other, and danced about for joy. 

As they had nothing more to fear, they went into the 
Witch's house, and they found chests in every corner full of 
pearls and precious stones. 


' These are better than pebbles,' said Hansel, as he filled 
his pockets. 

Grethel said : ' I must take something home with me too.' 
And she filled her apron, 

' But now we must go,' said Hansel, ' so that we may get 
out of this enchanted wood.' 

Before they had gone very far, they came to a great piece 
of water. 

' We can't get across it,' said Hansel ; ' I see no stepping- 
stones and no bridge.' 

' And there are no boats either,' answered Grethel. ' But 
there is a duck swimming, it will help us over if we ask it.' 

So she cried — 

' Little duck, that cries quack, quack. 
Here Grethel and here Hansel stand. 
Quickly, take us on your back. 
No path nor bridge is there at hand ! ' 

The duck came swimming towards them, and Hansel got 
on its back, and told his sister to sit on his knee. 

' No,' answered Grethel, ' it will be too heavy for the duck ; 
it must take us over one after the other.' 

The good creature did this, and when they had got safely 
over and walked for a while, the wood seemed to grow more and 
more familiar to them, and at last they saw their Father's 
cottage in the distance. They began to run, and rushed 
inside, where they threw their arms round their Father's neck. 
The Man had not had a single happy moment since he had 
deserted his children in the wood, and in the meantime his 
Wife was dead. 

Grethel shook her apron and scattered the pearls and 
precious stones all over the floor, and Hansel added handful 
after handful out of his pockets. 

So all their troubles came to an end, and they lived together 
as happily as possible. 


The Mouse, the Bird, and the Sausage 

ONCE upon a time, a Mouse, a Bird, and a Sausage went 
into partnership ; they kept house together long and 
amicably, and thus had increased their possessions. 
It was the Bird's work to fly to the forest every day and bring 
back wood. The Mouse had to carry water, make up the 
fire, and set the table, while the Sausage did the cooking. 

Whoever is too well off is always eager for something new. 

One day the Bird met a friend, to whom it sang the praises 
of its comfortable circumstances. But the other bird scolded 
it, and called it a poor creature who did all the hard work, 
while the other two had an easy time at home. For when the 
Mouse had made up the fire, and carried the water, she betook 
herself to her little room to rest till she was called to lay the 
table. The Sausage only had to stay by the hearth and take 
care that the food was nicely cooked ; when it was nearly 
dinner-time, she passed herself once or twice through the 
broth and the vegetables, and they were then buttered, salted, 
and flavoured, ready to eat. Then the Bird came home, 
laid his burden aside, and they all sat down to table ; and 
after their meal they slept their fill till morning. It was indeed 
a delightful life. 

Another day the Bird, owing to the instigations of his 
friend, declined to go and fetch any more wood, saying that 
he had been drudge long enough, and had only been their 
dupe ; they must now make a change and try some other 

In spite of the fervent entreaties of the Mouse and the 
Sausage, the Bird got his way. They decided to draw lots, 


and the lot fell on the Sausage, who was to carry the wood ; 
the Mouse became cook, and the Bird was to fetch water. 

What was the result ? 

The Sausage went out into the forest, the Bird made up 
the fire, while the Mouse put on the pot and waited alone for 
the Sausage to come home, bringing wood for the next day. 
But the Sausage stayed away so long that the other two 
suspected something wrong, and the Bird flew out to take 
the air in the hope of meeting her. Not far off he fell in with 

The Mouse had to carry water, while the 

did the cooking. 

a Dog which had met the poor Sausage and fallen upon her as 
lawful prey, seized her, and quickly swallowed her. 

The Bird complained bitterly to the Dog of his barefaced 
robbery, but it was no good ; for the Dog said he had found 
forged letters on the Sausage, whereby her life was forfeit to 

The Bird took the wood and flew sadly home with it, and 
related what he had seen and heard. They were much upset, 
but they determined to do the best they could and stay 
together. So the Bird laid the table, and the Mouse prepared 
their meal. She tried to cook it, and, like the Sausage, to 
dip herself in the vegetables so as to flavour them. But before 



she got well into the midst of them she came to a stand- 
still, and in the attempt lost her hair, skin, and life itself. 

When the Bird came back and wanted to serve up the meal, 
there was no cook to be seen. The Bird in his agitation 
threw the wood about, called and searched everywhere, but 
could not find his cook. Then, owing to his carelessness, the 
wood caught fire and there was a blaze. The Bird hastened 
to fetch water, but the bucket fell into the well and the Bird 
with it ; he could not recover himself, and so he was drowned. 

The Bird took the wood and flew sadly home with it. 


Mother Hulda 

THERE was once a widow who had two daughters ; 
one of them was beautiful and industrious, the other 
was ugly and lazy. She liked the ugly, lazy one 
best, because she was her own daughter. The other one had 
all the rough work, and was made the Cinderella at home. 
The poor girl had to sit in the street by a well, spinning till 
her fingers bled. 

New one day her bobbin got some blood upon it, and she 
stooped down to the well to rinse it, but it fell out of her hand 
into the water. She cried, and ran to tell her stepmother 
of her misfortune. 

Her stepmother scolded her violently and without mercy, 
and at last said, ' If you have let the bobbin fall into the 
water, you must go in after it and fetch it out.' 

The maiden went back to the well and did not know what 
to do, and in her terror she sprang into the water to try and 
find the bobbin. 

She lost consciousness, and when she came to herself she 
was in a beautiful meadow dotted with flowers, and the sun 
was shining brightly. She walked on till she came to a baker's 
oven full of bread ; the Loaves called out to her, ' Oh, draw 
us out, draw us out, or we shall burn ! We are over-baked 
already ! ' 

So she went up and drew them out one by one with a 
baker's shovel. 

Then she went a little further, and came to an Apple-tree 
covered with apples, which called out to her. ' Oh, shake us 
down, shake us down, we are over-ripe ! ' 

So she shook the tree, and the apples fell like rain. She 



shook till there were no more left, and when she had gathered 
them all into a heap, went on her way. 

At last she came to a little house, out of which an old 
woman was looking. She had very large teeth, and the 
maiden was so frightened that she wanted to run away. 

But the old woman called her, and said, ' What are you 
afraid of, dear child ? Stay with me, and if you can do all 
kinds of housework well, I shall be very pleased. But you 
must be very particular how you make my bed ; it must be 

At last she came tu a little house, out of which an old 
woman was looking. 

thoroughly shaken, so that the feathers fly, then it snows in the 
world. I am Mother Hulda.' ' 

As the old woman spoke so kindly to her, she took heart 
and agreed to stay, and she began her duties at once. 

She did everything to the old woman's satisfaction, and 
shook up the bed with such a will, that the feathers flew about 
like snow. So she led a very happy life ; she had no hard 
words, but good food, both roast and boiled, every day. 

Now after she had been some time with Mother Hulda, 
she grew sad. At first she did not know what was the matter, 

' According to a Hessian legend, when it snows. Mother Hulda is making her bed. 



but at last she discovered that she was homesick. Although 
everything here was a thousand times nicer than at home, 
still she had a yearning to go back. 

At last she said to the old woman, ' Although I had nothing 
but misery at home, and happy as I have been here, still I 
must go back to my own people.' 

Mother Hulda said, ' I am pleased that you ask to go 
home, and as you have been so faithful to me, I will take you 
back myself.' 

She took her by the hand and led her to a great gate. The 
gate was opened, and as the maiden was passing through, a 
heavy shower of gold fell upon her, and remained sticking, so 
that she was covered from head to foot with it. 

' This is your reward, because you have been so industrious,' 
said Mother Hulda. She also gave her back her bobbin which 
had fallen into the well. 

Then the gate was shut, and the maiden found herself in 
the upper world not far from her mother's house. 

When she reached the courtyard the Cock was sitting on 
the well, and he cried — 

' Cock-a-doodle-doo, 
Our golden maid, I see, 
Has now come home to me.' 

Then she went into her mother, and, as she was bedecked 
with gold, she was well received both by her mother and sister. 
The maiden told them all that had happened to her, and when 
her mother heard how she had got all her wealth, she wanted 
her ugly, lazy daughter to have the same. So she made her 
sit by the well and spin ; and so that there should be blood 
upon her bobbin, she scratched her finger, and thrust her hand 
into a blackthorn bush. Then she threw the bobbin into the 
water and jumped in after it. She found herself in the same 
beautiful meadow, and walked along the same path. 

When she reached the baker's oven, the Loaves called 
out again, ' Draw us out, draw us out, or we shall be bvu-nt ! ' 
H 113 


Then the lazy girl answered, ' I should soil my fingers,' 
and went on. 

Soon she came to the Apple-tree, and the apples cried, 
' Shake us down, shake us down ! We are all ripe ! ' 

' A fine business indeed,' she answered. ' One of you 
might fall upon my head.' And she passed on. 

When she came to Mother Hulda's house, she was not 

afraid of her big teeth, as she had heard all about them, 

and she immediately hired herself to the old woman. 

The first day she made a great effort ; she was industrious, 

and obeyed the orders Mother Hulda gave her, for she 

thought of all the gold. But on the second day even, 

she began to be lazy, and on the 

third she was still more so. 

She would not get up in 

So the lazy ^irl went home, but she was 
quite covered with pitch. 


the morning, nor did she make Mother Hulda's bed as she 

ought ; nor shake it till the feathers 

came out. * 

Mother Hulda soon grew tired •- •^ ^ 

of this, and discharged her. 

The lazy girl was well ^^\^ J^ 

enough pleased to go, 
and thought now the 

shower of gold 
would come. 
Mother Hulda con- 
ducted her to the same 
gate; but when she passed 
through, a shower of pitch fell 
upon her, instead of a shower 
of gold. 

' That is the reward for your 
service,' said Mother Hulda, as she shut the gate behind her. 

So the lazy girl went home, but she was quite covered 
with pitch ; and when the Cock on the well saw her, he cried — 

' Cock-a-doodle-doo, 
Our dirty maid, I see, 
Has now come bacii to me.' 

The pitch stuck to her as long as she lived ; she could 
never get rid of it. 


Red Riding Hood 

THERE was once a sweet little maiden, who was loved 
by all who knew her ; but she was especially dear 
to her Grandmother, who did not know how to make 
enough of the child. Once she gave her a little red velvet 
cloak. It was so becoming, and she liked it so much, that she 
would never wear anything else ; and so she got the name of 
Red Riding Hood. 

One day her Mother said to her : ' Come here, Red Riding 
Hood, take this cake and a bottle of wine to Grandmother, 
she is weak and ill, and they will do her good. Go quickly, 
before it gets hot, and don't loiter by the way, or run, or you 
will fall down and break the bottle, and there would be no 
wine for Grandmother. When you get there, don't forget 
to say " Good morning " prettily, without staring about you.' 

' I will do just as you tell me,' Red Riding Hood promised 
her Mother. 

Her Grandmother lived away in the woods, a good half- 
hour from the village. When she got to the wood, she met a 
Wolf ; but Red Riding Hood did not know what a wicked 
animal he was, so she was not a bit afraid of him. 

' Good-morning, Red Riding Hood,' he said. 

' Good-morning, Wolf,' she answered. 

' Whither away so early, Red Riding Hood ? ' 

' To Grandmother's.' 

' What have you got in your basket ? ' 

' Cake and wine ; we baked yesterday, so I 'm taking a 
cake to Grannie ; she wants something to make her well.' 

' Where does your Grandmother live. Red Riding Hood ? ' 


' A good quarter of an hour further into the wood. Her 
house stands under three big oak trees, near a hedge of nut 
trees which you must know,' said Red Riding Hood. 

The Wolf thought : ' This tender httle creature will be a 
plump morsel ; she Avill be nicer than the old woman. I 
must be cunning, and snap them both up.' 

He walked along with Red Riding Hood for a while, then 
he said : ' Look at the pretty flowers. Red Riding Hood. 
Why don't you look about you ? I don't believe you even hear 
the birds sing, you are just as solemn as if you were going to 
school : everything else is so gay out here in the woods.' 

Red Riding Hood raised her eyes, and when she saw the 
sunlight dancing through the trees, and all the bright flowers, 
she thought : ' I 'm sure Grannie would be pleased if I took 
her a bunch of fresh flowers. It is still quite early, I shall have 
plenty of time to pick them.' 

So she left the path, and wandered off among the trees to 
pick the flowers. Each time she picked one, she always saw 
another prettier one further on. So she went deeper and 
deeper into the forest. , 

In the meantime the Wolf went straight off to the Grand- 
mother's cottage, and knocked at the door. 

' Who is there ? ' 

' Red Riding Hood, bringing you a cake and some wine. 
Open the door ! ' 

' Press the latch ! ' cried the old woman. ' I am too weak 
to get up.' 

The Wolf pressed the latch, and the door sprang open. 
He went straight in and up to the bed without saying a word, 
and ate up the poor old woman. Then he put on her night- 
dress and nightcap, got into bed and drew the curtains. 

Red Riding Hood ran about picking flowers till she could 
carry no more, and then she remembered her Grandmother 
again. She was astonished when she got to the house to find 
the door open, and when she entered the room everything 
seemed so strange. 



She felt quite frightened, but she did not know why. 
' Generally I like coming to see Grandmother so much,' she 
thought. She cried : ' Good-morning, Grandmother,' but 
she received no answer. 

Then she went up to the bed and drew the curtain back. 
There lay her Grandmother, but she had drawn her cap down 
over her face, and she looked very odd. 

' O Grandmother, what big ears you have got,' she said. 

' The better to hear with, my dear.' 

' Grandmother, what big eyes you have got.' 

' The better to see with, my dear.' 

' What big hands you have got. Grandmother.' 

' The better to catch hold of you with, my dear.' 

' But, Grandmother, what big teeth you have got.' 

' The better to eat you up with, my dear.' 

Hardly had the Wolf said this, than he made a spring out 
of bed, and devoured poor little Red Riding Hood. When the 
Wolf had satisfied himself, he went back to bed and he was 
soon snoring loudly. 

A Huntsman went past the house, and thought, ' How 
loudly the old lady is snoring ; I must see if there is anything 
the matter with her.' 

So he went into the house, and up to the bed, where he 
found the Wolf fast asleep. ' Do I find you here, you old 
sinner ? ' he said. ' Long enough have I sought you.' 

He raised his gun to shoot, when it just occurred to him 
that perhaps the Wolf had eaten up the old lady, and that she 
might still be saved. So he took a knife and began cutting 
open the sleeping Wolf. At the first cut he saw the Uttle 
red cloak, and after a few more slashes, the little girl sprang 
out, and cried : 'Oh, how frightened I was, it was so dark 
inside the Wolf ! ' Next the old Grandmother came out, 
alive, but hardly able to breathe. 

Red Riding Hood brought some big stones with which 
they filled the Wolf, so that when he woke and tried to spring 
away, they dragged him back, and he fell down dead. 


They were all quite happy now. The Huntsman skinned 
the Wolf, and took the skin home. The Grandmother ate 
the cake and drank the wine which Red Riding Hood had 
brought, and she soon felt quite strong. Red Riding Hood 
thought : ' I will never again wander off into the forest as 
long as I live, if my Mother forbids it.' 


The Robber Bridearoom 

THERE was once a Miller, who had a beautiful daughter. 
When she grew up, he wanted to have her married 
and settled. He thought, ' If a suitable bridegroom 
come and ask for my daughter, I will give her to him.' 

Soon after a suitor came who appeared to be rich, and as 
the Miller knew nothing against him he promised his daughter 
to him. The Maiden, however, did not like him as a bride 
ought to like her bridegroom ; nor had she any faith in him. 
Whenever she looked at him, or thought about him, a shudder 
came over her. One day he said to her, ' You are my 
betrothed, and yet you have never been to see me.' 

The Maiden answered : ' I don't even know where your 
house is.' 

Then the Bridegroom said, ' My house is in the depths of 
the forest.' 

She made excuses, and said she could not find the way. 

The Bridegroom answered : ' Next Sunday you must come 
and see me without fail. I have invited some other guests, 
and, so that you may be able to find the way, I will strew some 
ashes to guide you.' 

When Sunday came, and the Maiden was about to start, 
she was frightened, though she did not know why. So that 
she should be sure of finding her way back she filled her 
pockets with peas and lentils. At the entrance to the forest 
she found the track of ashes, and followed it ; but every step 
or two she scattered a few peas right and left. 

She walked nearly the whole day, right into the midst of 
the forest, where it was almost dark. Here she saw a solitary 
house, which she did not like ; it was so dark and dismal. 


She went in, but found nobody, and there was dead silence. 
Suddenly a voice cried — 

' Turn back, turn back, thou bonnie Bride, 
Nor in this house of death abide.' 

The Maiden looked up, and saw that the voice came from 
a bird in a cage hanging on the wall. Once more it made the 
same cry — 

' Turn back, turn back, thou bonnie Bride, 
Nor in this house of death abide.' 

The beautiful Bride went from room to room, all over the 
house, but they were all empty ; not a soul was to be seen. 
At last she reached the cellar, and there she found an old, old 
woman with a shaking head. 

' Can you tell me if my Bridegroom lives here ? ' 

' Alas ! poor child,' answered the old woman, ' little dost 
thou know ^\here thou art ; thou art in a murderer's den. 
Thou thoughtest thou wast about to be married, but death will 
be thy marriage. See here, I have had to fill this kettle with 
water, and when they have thee in their power they Avill kill 
thee without mxcrcy, cook, and eat thee, for they are eaters 
of hvmian flesh. Unless I take pity on thee and save thee, 
thou art lost.' Then the old woman led her behind a great 
cask, where she could not be seen. ' Be as quiet as a mouse,' 
she said. ' Don't stir, or all will be lost. To-night, when the 
murderers are asleep, we will fly. I have long waited for an 

Hardly had she said this when the riotous crew came home. 
They dragged another maiden with them, but as they were 
quite drunk they paid no attention to her shrieks and 
lamentations. They gave her wine to drink, three glasses 
full — red, white, and yellow. After she had drunk them she 
fell down dead. The poor Bride hidden behind the cask 
was terrified ; she trembled and shivered, for she saw plainly 
to what fate she was destined. 



One of the men noticed a gold ring on the Uttle finger of 
the murdered girl, and as he could not pull it off he took an 
axe and chopped the finger off ; but it sprang up into the air, 
and fell right into the lap of the Bride behind the cask. The 
man took a Ught to look for it, but he could not find it. One 
of the others said, ' Have you looked behind the big cask ? ' 

Tliey hurried away as (juickly as tliey could. 

But the old woman called out : ' Come and eat, and leave 
the search till to-morrow ; the finger won't run away.' 

The murderer said : ' The old woman is right,' and they 
gave up the search and sat down to supper. But the old 
woman dropped a sleeping draught into their wine, so they 
soon lay down, went to sleep, and snored lustily. 

When the Bride heard them snoring she came out from 
behind the cask ; but she was obhged to step over the sleepers, 
as they lay in rows upon the floor. She was dreadfully afraid 
of touching them, but God helped her, and she got through 
without mishap. The old woman went with her and opened 


the door, and they hurried away as quickly as they could from 
this vile den. 

All the ashes had been blown away by the wind, but the 
peas and lentils had taken root and shot up, and showed them 
the way in the moonlight. 

They walked the whole night, and reached the mill in the 
morning. The Maiden told her father all that she had been 

When the day which had been fixed for the wedding came, 
the Bridegroom appeared, and the Miller invited all his friends 
and relations. As they sat at table, each one was asked to tell 
some story. The Bride was very silent, but when it came 
to her turn, and the Bridegroom said, ' Come, my love, have 
you nothing to say ? Pray tell us something,' she answered : 

' I will tell you a dream I have had. I was walking alone 
in a wood, and I came to a sohtary house where not a soul was 
to be seen. A cage was hanging on the wall of one of the 
rooms, and in it there was a bird which cried — 

" Turn back, turn back, thou bonnie Bride, 
Nor in this house of death abide." 

It repeated the same words twice. This was only a dream, 
my love ! I walked through all the rooms, but they were all 
empty and dismal. At last I went down to the cellar, and 
there sat a very old woman, with a shaking head. I asked 
her. " Does my Bridegroom live here ? " She answered, 
" Alas, you poor child, you are in a murderer's den ! Your 
Bridegroom indeed lives here, but he will cut you to pieces, 
cook you, and eat you." This was only a dream, my love ! 
Then the old woman hid me behind a cask, and hardly had she 
done so when the murderers came home, dragging a maiden 
with them. They gave her three kinds of wine to drink — 
red, white, and yellow ; and after drinking them she fell 
down dead. My love, I was only dreaming this ! Then they 
took her things off and cut her to pieces. My love, I was only 
dreaming ! One of the murderers saw a gold ring on the 



girl's little finger, and, as he could not pull it off, he chopped 
off the finger ; but the finger bounded into the air, and fell 
behind the cask on to my lap. Here is the finger with the 

At these words she produced the finger and showed it to 
the company. 

When the Bridegroom heard these words, he turned as 
pale as ashes, and tried to escape ; but the guests seized him 
and handed him over to justice. And he and all his band were 
executed for their crimes. 


Tom Thumb 

A POOR Peasant sat one evening by his hearth and 
poked the fire, while his Wife sat opposite spinning. 
He said : ' Wliat a sad thing it is that we have no 
children ; our home is so quiet, while other folk's houses are 
noisy and cheerful.' 

' Yes,' answered his "Wife, and she sighed ; ' even if it 
were an only one, and if it were no bigger than my thumb, I 
should be quite content ; Ave would love it with all our hearts.' 

Now, some time after this, she had a little boy who was 
strong and healthy, but was no bigger than a thumb. Then 
they said : ' Well, our wish is fulfilled, and, small as he is, 
we will love him dearly ' ; and because of his tiny stature 
they called him Tom Thumb. They let him want for nothing, 
yet still the child grew no bigger, but remained the same size 
as when he was born. Still, he looked out on the world with 
intelligsnt eyes, and soon showed himself a clever and agile 
creature, who was lucky in all he attempted. 

One day, when the Peasant was preparing to go into the 
forest to cut wood, he said to himself : ' I wish I had some one 
to bring the cart after me.' 

' O Father ! ' said Tom Thumb, ' I will soon bring it. 
You leave it to me ; it shall be there at the appointed time.' 

Then the Peasant laughed, and said : ' How can that be ? 
You are much too small even to hold the reins.' 

' That doesn't matter, if only Mother will harness the 
horse,' answered Tom. ' I will sit in his ear and tell him where 
to go.' 

' Very well,' said the Father ; ' we will try it for once.' 

When the time came, the Mother harnessed the horse, set 
Tom in his ear, and then the little creature called out ' Gee-up ' 


Tom Thumb. 


and ' Whoa ' in turn, and directed it where to go. It went 
quite well, just as though it were being driven by its master ; 
and they went the right way to the wood. Now it happened 
that while the cart was turning a corner, and Tom was calUng 
to the horse, two strange men appeared on the scene. 

' My goodness,' said one, ' what is this ? There goes a 
cart, and a driver is caUing to the horse, but there is nothing to 
be seen.' 

' There is something queer about this,' said the other ; ' we 
will follow the cart and see where it stops.' 

The cart went on deep into the forest, and arrived quite 
safely at the place where the wood was cut. 

When Tom spied his Father, he said : ' You see. Father, 
here I am with the cart ; now lift me down.' The Father 
held the horse with his left hand, and took his Uttle son out 
of its ear with the right. Then Tom sat down quite happily 
on a straw. 

When the two strangers noticed him, they did not know 
what to say for astonishment. 

Then one drew the other aside, and said : ' Listen, that 
Uttle creature might make our fortune if we were to show him 
in the town for money. We will buy him.' 

So they went up to the Peasant, and said : ' Sell us the 
little man ; he shall be well looked after with us.' 

' No,' said the Peasant ; ' he is the dehght of my eyes, 
and I will not sell him for all the gold in the world.' 

But Tom Thumb, when he heard the bargain, crept up by 
the folds of his Father's coat, placed himself on his shoulder, 
and whispered in his ear : ' Father, let me go ; I will soon 
come back again.' 

Then his Father gave him to the two men for a fine piece 
of gold. 

' Where will you sit ? ' they asked him. 

' Oh, put me on the brim of your hat, then I can walk up 
and down and observe the neighbourhood without falUng 



They did as he wished, and when Tom had said good-bye 
to his Father, they went away with him. 

They walked on till it was twilight, when the little man 
said : ' You must lift me down.' 

' Stay where you are,' answered the Man on whose head 
he sat. 

' No,' said Tom ; ' I will come down. Lift me down 

The Man took off his hat and set the little creature in a 
field by the wayside. He jumped and crept about for a time, 
here and there among the sods, then slipped suddenly into a 
mouse-hole which he had discovered. 

' Good evening, gentlemen, just you go home without me,' 
he called out to them in mockery. 

They ran about and poked with sticks into the mouse-hole, 
but all in vain. Tom crept further and fiuther back, and, 
as it soon got quite dark, they were forced to go home, full of 
anger, and with empty purses. 

When Tom noticed that they were gone, he crept out of 
his underground hiding-place again, ' It is dangerous walking 
in this field in the dark,' he said ; ' one might easily break 
one's leg or one's neck.' Luckily, he came to an empty snail 
shell. ' Thank goodness,' he said ; ' I can pass the night in 
safety here,' and he sat down. 

Not long after, just when he was about to go to sleep, he 
heard two men pass by. One said : ' How shall we set about 
stealing the rich parson's gold and silver ? ' 

' I can tell you,' interrupted Tom, 

' What was that ? ' said one robber in a fright, ' I heard 
some one speak.' 

They remained standing and listened. 

Then Tom spoke again : ' Take me with you and I will 
help you.' 

' Where are you ? ' they asked. 

' Just look on the ground and see where the voice comes 
from,' he answered. 


At last the thieves found him, and Hfted him up. ' You 
little urchin, are you going to help us ? ' 

' Yes,' he said ; ' I will creep between the iron bars in the 
pastor's room, and will hand out to you Avhat you want.' 

' All right,' they said, ' we will see what you can do.' 

When they came to the Parsonage, Tom crept into the 
room, bvxt called out immediately with all his strength to the 
others : ' Do you want everything that is here ? ' 

The thieves were frightened, and said : ' Do speak softly, 
and don't wake any one.' 

But Tom pretended not to understand, and called out 
again : ' What do you want ? Everything ? ' 

The Cook, who slept above, heard him and sat up in bed 
and listened. But the thieves were so frightened that they 
retreated a little way. At last they summoned up courage 
again, and thought to themselves, ' The little rogue wants to 
tease us.' So they came back and whispered to him : ' Now, 
do be serious, and hand us out something.' 

Then Tom called out again, as loud as he could, ' I will 
give you everj'^thing if only you will hold out your hands.' 

The Maid, who was listening intently, heard him quite 
distinctly, jumped out of bed, and stumbled to the door. 
The thieves turned and fled, running as though wild huntsmen 
were after them. But the Maid, seeing nothing, went to get 
a light. When she came back with it, Tom, without being 
seen, slipped out into the barn, and the Maid, after she had 
searched every corner and found nothing, went to bed again, 
thinking she had been dreaming with her eyes and ears open. 

Tom Thumb climbed about in the hay, and found a splendid 
place to sleep. There he determined to rest till day came, 
and then to go home to his parents. But he had other experi- 
ences to go through first. This world is full of trouble and 
sorrow ! 

The Maid got up in the grey dawn to feed the cows. First 
she went into the barn, where she piled up an armful of hay, 
the very bundle in which poor Tom was asleep. But he slept 
I 129 


so soundly that he knew nothing till he was almost in the 
mouth of the cow, who was eating him up with the hay. 

' Heavens ! ' he said, ' however did I get into this mill ? ' 
but he soon saw where he was, and the great thing was to 
avoid being crushed between the cow's teeth. At last, whether 
he liked it or not, he had to go down the cow's throat. 

' The windows have been forgotten in this house,' he said. 
' The sun does not shine into it, and no light has been 

Altogether he was very ill-pleased with his quarters, and, 
worst of all, more and more hay came in at the door, and the 
space grew narrower and narrower. At last he called out, 
in his fear, as loud as he could, ' Don't give me any more food. 
Don't give me any more food.' 

The Maid was just milking the cow, and when she heard 
the same voice as in the night, without seeing any one, she was 
frightened, and slipped from her stool and spilt the milk. 
Then, in the greatest haste, she ran to her master, and said : 
' Oh, your Reverence, the cow has spoken ! ' 

' You are mad,' he answered ; but he went into the stable 
himself to see what was happening. 

Scarcely had he set foot in the cow-shed before Tom began 
again, ' Don't bring me any more food.' 

Then the Pastor was terrified too, and thought that the 
cow must be bewitched ; so he ordered it to be killed. It was 
accordingly slaughtered, but the stomach, in which Tom was 
hidden, was thrown into the manure heap. Tom had the 
greatest trouble in working his way out. Just as he stuck 
out his head, a hungry Wolf ran by and snapped up the whole 
stomach with one bite. But still Tom did not lose courage. 
' Perhaps the Wolf will listen to reason,' he said. So he called 
out, ' Dear Wolf, I know where you would find a magnificent 

' Where is it to be had ? ' asked the Wolf. 

' Why, in such and such a house,' answered Tom. ' You 
must squeeze through the grating of the store-room window, 


and there you will find cakes, bacon, and sausages, as many 
as you can possibly eat ' ; and he went on to describe his 
father's house. 

The Wolf did not wait to hear this twice, and at night 
forced himself in through the grating, and ate to his heart's 
content. When he was satisfied, he wanted to go away again ; 
but he had grown so fat that he could not get out the same 
way. Tom had reckoned on this, and began to make a great 
commotion inside the Wolf's body, struggling and screaming 
with all his might. 

' Be quiet,' said the Wolf ; ' you will wake up the people 
of the house.' 

' All very fine,' answered Tom. ' You have eaten yoiu: 
fill, and now I am going to make merry ' ; and he began to 
scream again with all his might. 

At last his father and mother woke up, ran to the room, 
and looked through the crack of the door. When they saw 
a Wolf, they went away, and the husband fetched his axe, 
and the wife a scythe. 

' You stay behind,' said the man, as they came into the 
room. ' If my blow does not kill him, you must attack him 
and rip up his body.' 

Wh'^n Tom Thumb heard his Father's voice, he called out : 
' Dear Father, I am here, inside the Wolf's body.' 

Full of joy, his Father cried, ' Heaven be praised ! our dear 
child is found again,' and he bade his wife throw aside the 
scythe that it might not injure Tom. 

Then he gathered himself together, and struck the Wolf 
a blow on the head, so that it fell down lifeless. Then with 
knives and shears they ripped up the body, and took their 
little boy out. 

' Ah,' said his Father, ' what trouble we have been in about 

' Yes, Father, I have travelled about the world, and I am 
thankful to breathe fresh air again.' 

' Wherever have you been ? ' they asked. 



* Down a mouse-hole, in a Cow's stomach, and in a Wolf's 
maw,' he answered ; ' and now I shall stay with you.' 

' And we will never sell you again, for all the riches in the 
world,' they said, kissing and fondling their dear child. 

Then they gave him food and drink, and had new clothes 
made for him, as his own had been spoilt in his travels. 



THERE was once a Miller who was very poor, but he had 
a beautiful daughter. Now, it fell out that he had 
occasion to speak with the King, and, in order to 
give himself an air of importance, he said : ' I have a daughter 
who can spin gold out of straw,' 

The King said to the Miller : ' That is an art in which I 
am much interested. If your daughter is as skilful as you 
say she is, bring her to my castle to-morrow, and I will put her 
to the test.' 

Accordingly, when the girl was brought to the castle, the 
King conducted her to a chamber which was quite full of straw, 
gave her a spinning-wheel and winder, and said, ' Now, set 
to work, and if between to-night and to-morrow at dawn 
you have not spun this straw into gold you must die.' There- 
upon 1x6 carefully locked the door of the chamber, and she 
remained alone. 

There sat the unfortunate Miller's daughter, and for the 
life of her did not know what to do. She had not the least 
idea how to spin straw into gold, and she became more and 
more distressed, until at last she began to weep. Then all at 
once the door sprang open, and in stepped a little Mannikin, 
who said : ' Good evening. Mistress Miller, what are you 
weeping so for ? ' 

' Alas ! ' answered the Maiden, ' I 've got to spin gold out 
of straw, and don't know how to do it.' 

Then the Mannikin said, ' What will you give me if I spin 
it for you ? ' 

' My necklace,' said the Maid. 

The little jVIan took the necklace, sat down before the 



spinning-wheel, and whir — whir — whir, in a trice the reel was 

Then he fixed another reel, and whir — whir — whir, thrice 
round, and that too was full ; and so it went on until morning, 
when all the straw was spun and all the reels were full of gold. 

Immediately at sunrise the 
King came, and when he saw 
the gold he was astonished and 
much pleased, but his mind 
became only the more avari- 
cious. So he had the Miller's 
daughter taken to another 
chamber, larger than the for- 
mer one, and full of straw, and 
he ordered her to spin it also 
in one night, as she valued 
her life. 

The Maiden was at her wit's 
end, and began to weep. Then 
again the door sprang open, 
and the little Mannikin ap- 
peared, and said, ' ^Vhat will 
you give me if I spin the straw 
into gold for you ? ' 

' The ring off my finger,' 
answered the Maiden. 

The little man took the 
ring, began to whir again at 
the wheel, and had by morning 
spun all the straw into gold. 
The King was deUghted at sight of the masses of gold, but 
was not even yet satisfied. So he had the Miller's daughter 
taken to a still larger chamber, full of straw, and said, ' This 
must you to-night spin into gold, but if you succeed you shall 
become my Queen.' ' Even if she is only a Miller's daughter,' 
thought he, ' I shan't find a richer woman in the whole world.' 


Then all at once the door sprang; open, 
and in stepped a little Mannikin. 


When the girl was alone the little Man came again, and 
said for the third time, ' What will you give me if I spin the 
straw for you this time ? ' 

' I have nothing more that I can give,' answered the girl, 

' Well, promise me your first child if you become Queen.' 

' Who knoAVS what may happen,' thought the Miller's 
daughter ; but she did not see any other way of getting out 
of the difficulty, so she promised the little Man what he 
demanded, and in return he spun the straw into gold once 

When the King came in the morning, and found everything 
as he had wished, he celebrated his marriage with her, and the 
Miller's daughter became Queen. 

About a year afterwards a beautiful child was born, but 
the Queen had forgotten all about the little Man. However, 
he suddenly entered her chamber, and said, ' Now, give me 
what you promised.' 

The Qvieen was terrified, and offered the little Man all the 
wealth of the kingdom if he would let her keep the child. But 
the Mannikin said, ' No ; I would rather have some living 
thing than all the treasures of the world.' Then the Queen 
begaii to moan and weep to such an extent that the little Man 
felt sorry for her. ' I will give you three days,' said he, ' and 
if within that time you discover my name you shall keep the 

Then during the night the Queen called to mind all the 
names that she had ever heard, and sent a messenger all over 
the country to inquire far and wide what other names there 
were. When the little Man came on the next day, she began 
with Caspar, Melchoir, Balzer, and mentioned all the names 
which she knew, one after the other ; but at every one the 
little Man said : ' "^"^ ; that 's not my name.' 

The second day she had inquiries made all round the 
neighbourhood for the names of people living there, and 
suggested to the little Man all the most vmusual and strange 


Kouiul tlie lire an indescribably ridiculous little man was leaping, liojiiung: 
ou one leg, and singing. 


' Perhaps your name is Cowribs, Spindleshanks, or 
Spiderlegs ? ' 

But he answered every time, ' No ; that 's not my name.' 
On the third day the messenger came back and said : ' I 
haven't been able to find any new names, but as I came round 
the corner of a wood on a lofty mountain, where the Fox says 
good-night to the Hare, I saw a little house, and in front of the 
house a fire was burning ; and around the fire an indescribably 
ridiculous little man was leaping, hopping on one leg, and 
singing : 

" To-day I bake ; to-morrow I brew my beer ; 
The next day I will bring the Queen's child here. 
Ah ! lucky 'tis that not a soul doth know 
That Runipelstiltskin is my name, ho ! ho I "' 

Then you can imagine how delighted the Queen was when 
she heard the name, and when presently afterwards the little 
Man came in and asked, ' Now, your Majesty, what is my 
name ? ' at first she asked : 

' Is your name Tom ? ' 

' No.' 

' Is It Dick ? ' 


' Is it, by chance, Bumpelstiltskin ? ' 

' The devil told you that ! The devil told you that ! ' 
shrieked the little Man ; and in his rage stamped his right foot 
into the gi-ound so deep that he sank up to his waist. 

Then, in his passion, he seized his left leg with both hands, 
and tore himself asunder in the middle. 


Clever Grethel 

THERE was once a cook called Grethel, who wore shoes 
with red rosettes ; and when she went out in them, 
she turned and twisted about gaily, and thovight, 
' How fine I am ! ' 

After her walk she would take a draught of wine, in her 
light-heartedness ; and as wine gives an appetite, she would 
then taste some of the dishes that she was cooking, saying to 
herself, ' The cook is bound to know how the food tastes.' 

It so happened that one day her master said to her, 
' Grethel, I have a guest coming to-night ; roast me two fowls 
in your best style.' 

' It shall be done, sir ! ' answered Grethel. So she killed 
the chickens, scalded and plucked them, and then put them 
on the spit ; towards evening she put them down to the fire 
to roast. They got brown and crisp, but still the guest did 
not come. Then Grethel called to her Master, ' If the guest 
does not come I must take the fowls from the fire ; but it will 
be a thousand pities if they are not eaten soon while they are 

Her Master said, ' I will go and hasten the guest myself.' 

Hardly had her Master turned his back before Grethel laid 
the spit with the fowls on it on one side, and said to herself, 
' It 's thirsty work standing over the fire so long. Who knows 
when he will come. I '11 go down into the cellar in the mean- 
time and take a drop of wine.' 

She ran down and held a jug to the tap, then said, ' Here 's 

to your health, Grethel,' and took a good pull. ' Drinking 

leads to drinking,' she said, ' and it 's not easy to give it up,' 

and again she took a good pull. Then she went upstairs and 



put the fowls to the fire again, poured some butter over them, 
and turned tlie spit round with a will. It smelt so good that 
she thought, ' There may be something wanting, I must have 
a taste.' And she passed her finger over the fowls and put 
it in her mouth. ' Ah, how good they are ; it 's a sin and a 
shame that there 's nobody to eat them.' She ran to the 
window to see if her Master was coming with the guest, but she 
saw nobody. Then she went back to the fowls again, and 
thought, ' One wing is catching a little, better to eat it — and 
eat it I will.' So she cvit it off and ate it with much enjoyment. 
When it was finished, she thought, ' The other must follow, 
or the Master will notice that something is wanting.' When 
the wings were consumed she went back to the window again 
to look for her Master, but no one was in sight. 

' Who knows,' she thought. ' I dare say they won't come 
at all ; they must have dropped in somewhere else.' Then 
she said to herself, ' Now, Grethel, don't be afraid, eat it all 
up : why should the good food be wasted ? When it 's all 
gone you can rest ; run and have another drink and then 
finish it up.' So she went down to the cellar, took a good drink, 
and contentedly ate up the rest of the fowl. When it had all 
disappeared and still no Master came, Grethel looked at the 
other fowl and said, ' Where one is gone the other must follow. 
What is good for one is right for the other. If I have a drink 
first I shall be none the worse.' So she took another hearty 
pull at the jug, and then she sent the other fowl after the first 

In the height of her enjoyment, her Master came back, 
and cried, ' Hurry, Grethel, the guest is just coming.' 

' Very well, sir, I '11 soon have it ready,' answered Grethel. 

Her Master went to see if the table was properly laid, and 
took the big carving-knife with which he meant to cut up the 
fowls, to sharpen it. In the meantime the guest came and 
knocked politely at the door. Grethel ran to see who was 
there, and, seeing the guest, she put her finger to her lips and 
said, ' Be quiet, and get away quickly ; if my Master catches 



you it will be the worse for you. He certainly invited you to 
supper, but only with the intention of cutting off both your 
ears. You can hear him sharpening his knife now.' 

The guest heard the knife being sharpened, and hurried off 
down the steps as fast as he could. 

Grethel ran with great agility to her Master, shrieking, 
' A fine guest you have invited, indeed ! ' 

' Why, what 's the matter, Grethel ? What do you 
mean ? ' 

' Well,' she said, ' he has taken the two fowls that I had 
just put upon the dish, and run off with them.' 

' That 's a clever trick ! ' said her Master, regretting his 
fine fowls. ' If he had only left me one so that I had some- 
thing to eat.' 

He called out to him to stop, but the guest pretended not 
to hear. Then he ran after him, still holding the carving- 
knife, and cried, ' Only one, only one ! ' — meaning that the 
guest should leave him one fowl ; but the guest only thought 
that he meant he was to give him one ear, and he ran as if he 
was pursued by fire, and so took both his ears safely home. 


The Old Man and his Grandson 

THERE was once a very old Man, so old that his eyes 
had become dim, and his limbs trembled. 

When he sat at table his hands shook so that he 
could hardly hold his spoon, and some- 
times he spilt soup on the tablecloth. 
This vexed his son and daughter-in-law, 
and they would no longer let him have 
a place at the table, but made him sit 
in a corner by the stove. 

They gave him his food in an 
earthenware bowl, and a very scanty 
portion too. He sat in his place look- 
ing at the others at table, and the tears 
came into his eyes. 

One day his trembling hands could 
no longer hold the bowl ; it fell to the 
ground and broke to atoms. 

The young wife scolded hirii, but he 
said nothing; then she bought him a 
wooden bowl for a few coppers, and he 
had nothing else to eat from. 

As they were sitting together one 

day, the little Grandson, who was four 

years old, collected a lot of bits of wood. 

' What are you doing there ? ' asked 

his Father. 

' I am making a little trough,' an- 
swered the Child, ' for you and Mother 
to eat out of when I am big.' 
Husband and wife looked at each other for a while till their 
tears began to fall. Then they led the old Grandfather up to 
the table to take his meal with them. 

And they never again said anything to him when he spilt 
his food. 


The Little Peasant 

THERE was once a village in which there was only one 
poor Peasant ; all the others were very well-to-do, 
so they called him the Little Peasant. He had not 
even got a single cow, far less money with which to buy one, 
though he and his Wife would have been so glad to possess one. 

One day he said to his Wife, ' Look here, I have a good 
idea : there is my Godfather, the joiner, he shall make us a 
wooden calf and paint it brown, so that it looks like a real one, 
and perhaps some day it will grow into a cow.' 

This plan pleased his Wife, so his Godfather, the joiner, cut 
out and carved the calf and painted it properly, and made its 
head bent down to look as if it were eating. 

Next morning, when the cows were driven out, the Little 
Peasant called the Cowherd in, and said : ' Look here, I have 
a little calf, but it is very small and has to be carried.' 

The Cowherd said : ' All right,' took it in his arms, carried 
it to the meadow and put it down in the grass. 

The calf stood there all day and appeared to be eating, and 
the Cowherd said, ' It will soon be able to walk by itself ; see 
how it eats.' 

In the evening, when he was going home, he said to the calf, 
' If you can stand there all day and eat your fill, you may just 
walk home on your own legs, I don't mean to carry you ! ' 

But the Little Peasant was standing by his door waiting for 
the calf, and when the Cowherd came through the village 
without it, he at once asked where it was. 

The Cowherd said, ' It is still standing there ; it would not 
stop eating to come with us.' 


The Little Peasant said, ' But I must have my Uttle calf 

So they went back together to the field, but some one had 
stolen the calf in the meantime, and it was gone. 

The Cowherd said, ' It must have run away.' 

But the Little Peasant said, ' Nothing of the kind,' and he 
took the Cowherd up before the Bailiff, who condemned him, 
for his carelessness, to give the Little Peasant a cow, in place 
of the lost calf. 

So at last the Little Peasant and his Wife had the long- 
wished-for cow ; they were delighted, but they had no fodder 
and could not give it anything to eat, so very soon they had to 
kill it. 

They salted the meat, and the man went to the town to sell 
the hide, intending to buy another calf with the money he got 
for it. On the way he came to a mill, on which a raven sat 
with a broken wing ; he took it up out of pity and wrapped 
it in the hide. Such a storm of wind and rain came on that 
he could go no further, so he went into the mill to ask for 

Only the Miller's Wife was at home, and she said to the 
Little Peasant, ' You may lie down in the straw there.' And 
she gave him some bread and cheese to eat. 

The Little Peasant ate it, and then lay down with the hide 
by his side. 

The Miller's Wife thought, ' He is tired, and won't wake up.' 

Soon after a Priest came in, and he was made very welcome 
by the woman, who said, ' My husband is out, so we can have a 

The Little Peasant was listening, and when he heard about 
the feast he was much annoyed, because bread and cheese had 
been considered good enough for him. 

The Woman then laid the table, and brought out a roast 
joint, salad, cake and wine. They sat down, but just as they 
were beginning to eat, somebody knocked at the door. 

The Woman said, ' Good heavens, that is my Husband ! ' 



She quickly hid the joint in the oven, the wine under the 
pillow, the salad on the bed, and the cake under the bed, and, 
last of all, she hid the Priest in the linen chest. Then she 
opened the door for her Husband, and said, ' Thank heaven 
you are back : the world might be coming to an end with such 
a storm as there is ! ' 

The Miller saw the Little Peasant lying on the straw, and 
said, ' What is that fellow doing there ? ' 

' Oh ! ' said his Wife, ' the poor fellow came in the middle 
of the storm and asked for shelter, so I gave him some bread 
and cheese, and told him he might lie on the straw ! ' 

' He 's welcome as far as I 'm concerned,' said the Man ; 
' but get me something to eat, Wife, I 'm very hungry.' 

His Wife said, ' I have nothing but bread and cheese.' 

' Anything will please me,' said the Man ; ' bread and 
cheese is good enough.' And his eyes falling on the Little 
Peasant, he said, ' Come along and have some too.' 

The Little Peasant did not wait for a second bidding, but 
got up at once, and they fell to. 

The Miller noticed the hide on the floor in which the Raven 
was wrapped, and said, ' What have you got there ? ' 

' I have a soothsayer there,' answered the Little Peasant. 

' Can he prophesy something to me ? ' asked the Miller. 

' Why not ? ' answered the Little Peasant ; ' but he will 
only say four things, the fifth he keeps to himself.' 

The Miller was inquisitive, and said, ' Let me hear one of 
his prophecies.' 

The Little Peasant squeezed the Raven's head and made 
him croak. 

The Miller asked, ' What did he say ? ' 

The Little Peasant answered, ' First he said that there was 
a bottle of wine under the pillow.' 

' That 's a bit of luck I ' said the Miller, going to the pillow 
and finding the wine. ' What next ? ' 

The Little Peasant made the Raven croak again, and said, 
' Secondly, he says there is a joint in the oven.' 


' That 's a bit of luck ! ' said the Miller, going to the oven 
and finding the joint. 

The Little Peasant again squeezed the Raven to make him 
prophesy, and said, ' Thirdly, he says there is some salad in the 

' That 's a bit of luck ! ' said the Miller, finding the salad. 

Again the Little Peasant squeezed the Raven to make him 
crook, and said, ' Fourthly, he says there is a cake under the 

' That 's a bit of luck ! ' cried the Miller, as he found the 

Now the two sat down ^t the table together ; but the 
Miller's Wife was in terror. She went to bed, and took all the 
keys with her. 

The Miller would have liked to know what the fifth 
prophecy could be, but the Little Peasant said, ' We will 
quietly eat these four things first, the fifth is something 

So they went on eating, and then they bargained as to how 
much the Miller should pay for the fifth prophecy, and at last 
they agreed upon three hundred thalers. 

Then again the Little Peasant squeezed the Raven's head 
and made him crow very loud. 

The Miller said, ' What does he say ? ' 

The Little Peasant answered, ' He says the devil is hidden 
in the linen chest.' 

The Miller said, ' The devil will have to go out ' ; and he 
opened the house door and made his Wife give up the keys. 
The Little Peasant unlocked the linen chest, and the Priest 
took to his heels as fast as ever he could. 

The IVIiller said, ' I saw the black fellow with my own eyes ; 
there was no mistake about it.' 

The Little Peasant made off at dawn with his three hundred 

After this the Little Peasant began to get on in the world ; 
he built himself a pretty new house, and the other Peasants 
K 145 


said, ' He must have been where the golden snow falls and 
where one brings home gold in bushels.' 

Then he was summoned before the Bailiff to say where he 
got all his riches. 

He answered, ' I sold my cow-hide in the town for three 
hundred thalers.' 

When the other Peasants heard this they all wanted to 
enjoy the same good luck, so they ran home, killed their cows, 
and took the hides off to get the same price for them. 

The Bailiff said, ' My maid must have the first chance.' 
When she reached the town the buyer only gave her three thalers 
for the hide ; and he did not eve^^ give the others so much, for 
he said, ' What on earth am I to do with all these hides ? ' 

Now the Peasants were enraged at the Little Peasant for 
having stolen a march upon them, and to revenge themselves 
they had him up before the Bailiff and accused him of cheating. 

The innocent Little Peasant was unanimously condemned 
to death ; he was to be put into a cask full of holes and rolled 
into the water. He was led out, and a Priest was brought to 
read a mass ; and all the people had to stand at a distance. 

As soon as the Little Peasant looked at the Priest, he knew 
he was the man who had been at the Miller's, He said to him, 
' I saved you out of the chest, now you must save me out of the 

Just then a Shepherd came by driving a flock of sheep, and 
the Little Peasant knew that he had long wanted to be Bailiff 
himself ; so he called out as loud as he could, ' No, I will not, 
and if all the world wished it I would not,' 

The Shepherd, who heard what he said, came and asked, 
' What 's the matter, what will you not do ? ' 

The Little Peasant said, ' They want to make me Bailiff if 
I will sit in this cask, but I won't.' 

' If that is all,' said the Shepherd, ' I will get into the cask 

The Little Peasant said, ' If you will get into the cask you 
shall be made Bailiff.' 


The Shepherd was delighted, and got in, and the Little 
Peasant fastened down the cover upon him. The flock of 
sheep he took for himself, and drove them off. 

Then the Priest went back to the Peasants and told them 
the mass was said ; so they went and rolled the cask into the 

When it began to roll the Shepherd cried out, ' I am quite 
ready to be Bailiff ! ' 

The Peasants thought that it was only the Little Peasant 
crying out, and they said, ' Very likely ; but you must go and 
look about you down below first.' And they rolled the cask 
straight into the water. 

Thereupon they went home, and when they entered the 
village what was their surprise to meet the Little Peasant 
calmly driving a flock of sheep before him, as happy as could 
be. They cried, ' Why, you Little Peasant, how do you come 
here again ? How did you get out of the water ? ' 

' Well,' said the Little Peasant, ' I sank deep, deep down 
till I touched the bottom ; then I knocked the head of the 
cask off, crept out, and found myself in a beautiful meadow 
in which numbers of lambs were feeding, and I brought this 
flock back with me.' 

The OLher Peasants said, ' Are there any more ? ' 

' Oh yes, plenty,' answered the Little Peasant, ' more than 
we shovild know what to do with.' 

Then the other Peasants planned to fetch some of these 
sheep for themselves ; they would each have a flock. 

But the Bailiff said, ' I go first.' 

They all ran together to the water ; the sky just then 
was flecked with little fleecy clouds and they were reflected 
in the water. When the Peasants saw them, they cried, 
' Why, there they are ! We can see the sheep below the 
water ! ' 

The Bailiff pressed forward, and said, ' I will be the first 
to go down to look about me ; I will call you if it is worth 
while.' So he sprang into the water with a great splash. 



The others thought he cried, ' Come along ! ' and the 
whole party plunged in after him. 

So all the Peasants perished, and, as the Little Peasant was 
the sole heir, he became a rich man. 


Fred and Kate 

FRED and Kate were man and wife. They had not 
long been married. 

One day Fred said, ' I am going into the fields, 
Kate ; I shall be hmigry when I come in, so have something 
good ready for dinner, and a cool draught to quench my thirst.' 

' All right, Fred, I will have it ready for you when you come 

When dinner-time approached, she took down a sausage 
from the chimney, put it into a frying-pan with some butter, 
and placed it on the fire. The sausage began to frizzle and 
splutter, and Kate stood holding the pan lost in her thoughts. 

Suddenly she said : ' While the sausage is cooking, I might 
go down to the cellar to draw the beer.' So she put the pan 
firmly on the fire, and took a jug down to the cellar to draw 
the beer. 

Kate watched the beer running into the jug, and suddenly 
she said : ' I don't believe the dog is tied up ; it might get the 
sausage out of the frying-pan and run off with it.' 

She was up the cellar stairs in a twinkling, but the dog had 
already got the sausage in his jaws, and was just making off 
with it. Kate, who was very agile, ran after him, and chased 
him a good way over the fields. The dog, however, was 
quicker than she, and without letting go the sausage, he got 
right away. 

' What is gone, is gone ! ' she said, and being tired out, she 
turned back and walked slowly home to cool herself. 

In the meantime, the beer had been running out of the 
cask, because Kate had forgotten to turn the tap. As soon as 



the jug was full, the rest ran all over the cellar floor, till the 
cask was quite empty. 

Kate saw what had happened as soon as she got to the top 
of the cellar stairs. ' Humph ! ' she cried, ' what am I to do 
now, so that Fred shan't discover it ? ' 

She thought a while, and at last she remembered a sack of 
fine meal thev had left over from the last fair. She would 

Kate ran after liiiii, and chased him a good way over the fields. 

fetch it down and strew it over the beer, ' To be sure,' she 
said, ' those Avho save at the right time have something when 
they need it.' 

So she went up to the loft and brought the sack down, but, 
unfortunately, she threw it right on to the jug full of beer. 
It was overturned, and away went Fred's drink, flooding the 
cellar with the rest. 

' Oh, that won't matter ! ' said Kate. ' When part is gone, 


the rest may as well follow.' Then she strewed the meal all 
over the cellar. She was delighted with her handiwork when 
it was finished, and said : ' How clean and fresh it looks.' 

At dinner-time Fred came home. ' Well, wife, what have 
5'^ou got for dinner ? ' he said. 

' O Fred ! ' she answered, ' I was frying you a sausage, 
but while I went down to draw the beer, the dog got it ; and 
while I ran after the dog, the beer ran out of the cask. Then 
when I was going to dry up the beer with the meal, I knocked 
the jug over. But never mind, the cellar is quite dry now.' 

Fred said : ' Kate, Kate, what have you been doing ? 
First you let the sausage be carried off, then you let the beer 
run out of the cask, and, lastly, you waste our fine meal.' 

' Well, Fred, I did not know ; you should have told me 
what to do.' 

The man thought : ' If my wife is like this, I must look after 
things myself.' 

Now, he had saved a nice little sum of money, which he 
changed into gold, and said to Kate : ' Do you see these 
yellow counters ? I am going to put them in a pot, and bury 
them underneath the cow's manger in the stable ; don't you 
meddle with them, or it will be the worse for you.' 

And she said : ' Oh no, Fred, I won't.' 

Now, when Fred had gone out, several Pedlars came into 
the village with earthen pots and pans for sale. They asked 
the young Avife if she had nothing to give in exchange for 

' Oh, good people,' said Kate, ' I have no money, and I 
can't buy anything, but if some yellow counters would be any 
good to you, I might do some business.' 

' Yellow counters ! Why not ? You might as well show 
them to us,' said the naen. 

' You must go into the stable and dig under the cow's 
manger, and you will find the yellow covmters. I dare not go 
with you.' 

So the rogues went to the stable and dug up the pot of gold. 



They seized it and made off with it as fast as they could, 
leaving their pots and pans behind. 

Kate thought she must use the new utensils, but as there 
was no lack in the kitchen, she knocked the bottom out of 
every pot and pan, and hung them on the fence round the house 
as ornaments. 

When Fred came home and saw the new decorations, he 
said : ' Kate, whatever have you been doing now ? ' 

' I bought them, Fred, with the yellow counters which 
were hidden in the stable, but I did not get them myself ; the 
Pedlars dug them up.' 

' Alas, wife ! ' said Fred, ' what have you done ? Those 
were not counters, they were pure gold, and all that we 
possess. You should not have done it.' 

' Well, Fred, I did not know ; you should have told me.' 

Kate stood for a while thinking, then she said : ' Listen, 
Fred, we will run after the thieves and get the money back.' 

' Come along then,' said Fred, ' we will try what we can do ; 
but we must take some butter and cheese with us to eat on 
the way.' 

' All right,' she answered. So they set out, but as Fred was 
fleeter of foot than Kate he was soon ahead of her. 

' I shall be the gainer,' she said ; ' I shall be foremost when 
we turn.' 

Soon they came to a mountain, and on both sides of the 
road there were deep cart ruts. ' There, just see,' said Kate, 
' how the poor earth is torn and scratched and squeezed ; it 
can never be whole again as long as it lives.' 

Then out of the kindness of her heart she took the butter 
and smeared the ruts right and left, so that they might not be 
torn by the wheels. 

As she was stooping in this compassionate act, one of the 
cheeses fell out of her pocket, and rolled down the hill. 

Kate said : ' I have come up the hill once, and I don't 
mean to do it again ; I will send another of the cheeses to fetch 
it. So she took another out of her pocket and rolled it down. 


As it did not come back she sent a third rolling after it, and 
thought, ' Perhaps they are waiting for company, and don't 
like walking alone.' 

When all three stayed away, she said : ' I don't know what 
is the meaning of this ! it may be that the third one lost its 
\tay ; I will send the fourth one to call it back,' Nothing was 
seen of the fourth any more than of the third. 

At last Kate got quite angry, and threw down the fifth and 
sixth, and they were the last. 

For a time she stood looking to see if they were coming, 
but as they did not appear, she said : ' Oh, you would be good 
folks to send in search of death, you would be a long time 
coming back. You need not think I am going to wait any 
longer for you ; I am going on, and you may just come after 
me, your legs are younger than mine.' 

So Kate went on, and caught up Fred, who had stopped 
because he wanted something to eat. ' Now give me the food 
you brought with you.' 

She handed him some dry bread. 

' \'\Tiat has become of the butter and cheese ? ' said the man. 

' O Fred ! ' said Kate, ' I smeared the cart ruts with the 
butter, but the cheese will soon be here. One of them slipped 
away froi.^ me, and then I sent the others to fetch it back.' 

Then said Fred : ' You should not have wasted the butter, 
Kate, or sent the cheeses rolling down the hill.' 

' Well, Fred, you ought to have told me so,' said Kate. 

So they ate the dry bread together, and Fred said : ' Did 
you lock up the house, Kate, before you came away ? ' 

' No, Fred ; you should have told me sooner.' 

Her husband said : ' Well, then, go home and lock up the 
house before we go any further, and bring something else to 
eat. I will wait for you here.' 

So Kate went, and she thought to herself, ' As Fred wants 
something else to eat, I suppose he does not like bread and 
cheese, I will take him some dried apples and a jug of vinegar 
to drink.' 



Then she bolted the upper half of the door, but she lifted 
the lower part from its hinges, and took it with her on her back, 
thinking that if she had the door in safety the house would be 
safe. She took plenty of time on her way back, for she 
thought : ' Fred will have the more time to rest.' 

When she reached him again, she said : ' Here you have the 
house door, Fred, so you can take care of the house yourself.' 

' Good heavens,' he said, ' what a clever Avife I have. She 
bolts the upper part of the door, and lifts the lower part off 
its hinges, so that anything may run in and out. It 's too 
late to go back to the house now ; but as you have brought 
the door so far, you may just carry it further.' 

' I will carry the door, Fred,' she said. ' But the apples 
and the jug of vinegar are too heavy ; I will hang them on the 
door, and it may carry them.' 

They now went into the wood to look for the rogues, but 
they did not find them. As it was dark, they climbed up a 
tree to spend the night there. 

They had hardly settled themselves, before the Pedlars 
came up. They were the sort of people who take away things 
which should not be taken, and who find things before they are 

They lay down just under the tree in which Fred and Kate 
were. They lighted a fire, and began to divide their booty. 

Fred got down at the other side of the tree, and picked up 
a lot of stones with which he meant to kill the thieves. The 
stones did not hit them, however, and the rogues said : ' It will 
soon be day, the wind is blowing down the pine cones.' 

Kate still had the door on her back, and she thought it was 
the dried apples which made it so heavy, so she said : ' Fred, 
I must throw down the apples.' 

' No, Kate, not now,' he answered ; ' they would be- 
tray us.' 

' But, Fred, I must, they are so heavy.' 

' Well, let them go then, in the name of fortune ! ' he cried, 
and down rolled the apples. 


And the Pedlars said : ' The leaves are falhng.' 

A Uttle later, finding that the door still pressed very 

heavily, Kate said : ' Fred, I must pour away the vinegar.' 
' No, Kate, not now ; it would betray us.' 
' But, Fred, I must, it is terribly heavy.' 
' Well, do it, then, if you must, in the name of fortune ! ' 
So she poured out the vinegar, and the Pedlars were 

sprinkled with it. 

They said to each other : ' Why, the dew is falling already.' 
At last Kate thought : ' Can it be the door that presses so 

heavily ? ' And she said : ' Fred, I must throw the door 


' No, Kate, not now ; it might betray us.' 

' But, Fred, I must ; it weighs me down.' 

' No, Kate, hold it fast.' 

' Fred, it 's slipping, I must let it fall,' 

' Well, let it fall, then, in the devil's name ! ' 

So down it fell through the branches with such a clatter, 

that the Pedlars cried : ' The devil 's in this tree.' And they 

ran away as fast as ever they could go, leaving all their treasure 

behind them. 

In the early morning, when Fred and Kate climbed down, 

they found all their gold, and took it home with them. 


Sweetheart Roland 

ONCE upon a time there was a woman who was a real 
Witch, and she had two daughters ; one was ugly 
and wicked, but she loved her because she was her 
own daughter. The other was good and lovely, but she hated 
her for she was only her step-daughter. 

Now, this step-daughter had a beautiful apron which the 
other daughter envied, and she said to her Mother that have 
it she must and would. 

' Just wait quietly, my child,' said her Mother. ' You 
shall have it ; your step-sister has long deserved death, and 
to-night, when she is asleep, I will go and chop off her head. 
Only take care to lie on the further side of the bed, against 
the wall, and push her well to this side.' 

Now, all this would certainly have come to pass if the poor 
girl had not been standing in a corner, and heard what they 
said. She was not even allowed to go near the door all day, 
and when bed-time came the Witch's daughter got into bed 
first, so as to lie at the fm'ther side ; but when she was asleep 
the other gently changed places with her, and put herself next 
the wall. 

In the middle of the night the Witch crept up holding an 
axe in her right hand, while with her left she felt if there was 
any one there. Then she seized the axe with both hands, 
struck — and struck off her own child's head. 

Wlien she had gone away, the Maiden got up, and went to 
the house of her Sweetheart Roland, and knocked at his door. 
When he came out, she said to him, ' Listen, dear Roland ; we 
must quickly fly. My step-mother tried to kill me, but she 
hit her own child instead. When day comes, and she sees 
what she has done, we shall be lost.' 

The Maiden fetched the magic wand, and then she took her step-sister's head 
and dropped three drops of blood from it. 


' But,' said Roland, ' you must first steal her magic wand, 
or we shall not be able to escape if she comes after us.' 

The Maiden fetched the magic wand, and then she took her 
step-sister's head, and dropped three drops of blood from it — 
one by the bed, one in the kitchen, and one on the stairs. 
After that, she hurried away with her Sweetheart Roland. 

When the old Witch got up in the morning she called her 
daughter in order to give her the apron, but she did not come. 
Then she called, ' Where art thou ? ' 

' Here on the stairs,' answered one drop of blood. 

The Witch went on to the stairs, but saw nothing, so she 
called again : ' Where art thou ? ' 

' Here in the kitchen warming myself,' answered the 
second drop of blood. 

The Witch went into the kitchen, but found nothing, then 
she called again : ' WTiere art thou ? ' 

' Here in bed, sleeping,' answered the third drop of blood. 

So she went into the bedroom, and there she found her own 
child, whose head she had chopped off herself. 

The Witch flew into a violent passion, and sprang out of the 
window. As she could see for many miles around, she soon 
discovered her step-daughter hurrying away with Roland. 

' That won't be any good,' she cried. ' However far you 
may go, you won't escape me.' 

She put on her seven-league boots, and before long she 
overtook them. When the Maiden saw her coming, she 
changed her Sweetheart into a lake, with the magic wand, and 
herself into a Duck swimming in it. The Witch stood on the 
shore, and threw bread-crumbs into the water, and did every- 
thing she could think of to entice the Duck ashore. But it was 
all to no purpose, and she was obliged to go back at night 
without having accomplished her object. 

When she had gone away, the Maiden and Roland resumed 
their own shapes, and they walked the whole night till break 
of day. 

Then the Maiden changed herself into a beautiful Rose in 


the middle of a briar hedge, and Roland into a Fiddler. Before 
long the Witch came striding along, and said to the Fiddler, 
' Good Fiddler, may I pick this beautiful Rose ? ' 

' By all means,' he said, ' and I will play to you.' 

As she crept into the hedge, in great haste to pick the flower 
(for she knew well who the flower was), Roland began to play, 
and she had to dance, whether she liked or not, for it was a 
magic dance. The quicker he played, the higher she had to 
jump, and the thorns tore her clothes to ribbons, and scratched 
her till she bled. He would not stop a moment, so she had to 
dance till she fell down dead. 

When the Maiden was freed from the spell, Roland said, 
' Now I will go to my father and order the wedding.' 

' Then I will stay here in the meantime,' said the Maiden. 
' And so that no one shall recognise me while I am waiting, I 
will change myself into a common red stone.' 

So Roland went away, and the Maiden stayed in the field, 
as a stone, waiting his return. 

But when Roland got home, he fell into the snares of 
another woman, who made him forget all about his love. 
The poor Maiden waited a long, long time, but when he did 
not come back, she became very sad, and changed herself into 
a flower, and thought, ' Somebody at least will tread upon me.' 

Now it so happened that a Shepherd was watching his sheep 
in the field, and saw the flower, and he picked it because he 
thought it was so pretty. He took it home and put it care- 
fully away in a chest. From that time forward a wonderful 
change took place in the Shepherd's hut. When he got up in 
the morning, all the work was done ; the tables and benches 
were dusted, the fire was lighted, and the water was carried 
in. At dinner-time, when he came home, the table was laid, 
and a well-cooked meal stood ready. He could not imagine 
how it all came about, for he never saw a creature in his house, 
and nobody could be hidden in the tiny hut. He was much 
pleased at being so well served, but at last he got rather 
frightened, and went to a Wise Woman to ask her advice. 



The Wise Woman said, ' There is magic behind it. You must 
look carefully about the room, early in the morning, and 
whatever you see, throw a white cloth over it, and the spell 
will be broken.' 

The Shepherd did what she told him, and next morning, 
just as the day broke, he saw his chest open, and the flower 
come out. So he sprang up quickly, and threw a white cloth 
over it. Immediately the spell was broken, and a lovely 
Maiden stood before him, who confessed that she had been the 
flower, and it was she who had done all the work of his hut. 
She also told him her story, and he was so pleased with her 
that he asked her to marry him. 

But she answered, ' No ; I want my Sweetheart Roland, 
and though he has forsaken me, I will always be true to him.' 

She promised not to go away, however, but to go on with 
the housekeeping for the present. 

Now the time came for Roland's marriage to be celebrated. 
According to old custom, a proclamation was made that every 
maiden in the land should present herself to sing at the marriage 
in honour of the bridal pair. 

When the faithful Maiden heard this, she grew very sad, 
so sad that she thought her heart would break. She had no 
wish to go to the marriage, but the others came and fetched 
her. But each time as her turn came to sing, she slipped 
behind the others till she was the only one left, and she could 
not help herself. 

As soon as she began to sing, and her voice reached 
Roland's ears, he sprang up and cried, ' That is the true Bride, 
and I will have no other.' 

Everything that he had forgotten came back, and his 
heart was filled with joy. So the faithful Maiden was married 
to her Sweetheart Roland ; all her grief and pain were over, 
and only happiness lay before her. 



IT was the middle of winter, and the snowflakes were faUing 
from the sky Uke feathers. Now, a Queen sat sewing 
at a window framed in black ebony, and as she sewed 
she looked out upon the snow. Suddenly she pricked her 
finger and three drops of blood fell on to the snow. And the 
red looked so lovely on the white that she thought to herself : 
' If only I had a child as white as snow and as red as blood, 
and as black as the wood of the window frame ! ' Soon after, 
she had a daughter, whose hair was black as ebony, while her 
cheeks were red as blood, and her skin as white as snow ; so 
she was called Snowdrop. But when the child was born the 
Queen died. A year after the King took another wife. She 
was a handsom.e v/oman, but proud and overbearing, and could 
not endure that any one should surpass her in beauty. She 
had a magic looking-glass, and when she stood before it and 
looked at herself she used to say : 

' Mirror, Mirror on the wall, 
Who is fairest of us all ? ' 

then the Glass answered, 

'Queen, thou'rt fairest of them all." 

Then she was content, for she knew that the Looking-glass 
spoke the truth. 

But Snowdrop grew up and became more and more beauti- 
ful, so that when she was seven years old she was as beautiful 
as the day, and far surpassed the Queen. Once, when she 
asked her Glass, 

L 161 


it answered — 

' Mirror, jVIirror on tlie wall, 
Who is fairest of lis all ? ' 

Queen, thou art faire^t here, I hold, 
l?ut Snowdrop is fairer a thousandfold.' 

Then the Queen was horror-struck, and turned green and 
yellow with jealousy. From the hour that she saw Snowdrop 

her heart sank, and she hated 

the little girl. 

The pride and envy of her 
heart grew like a weed, so 
that she had no rest day nor 
night. At last she called a 
Huntsman, and said : ' Take 
the child out into the wood ; 
I will not set eyes on her 
again ; you must kill her and 
bring me her lungs and liver 
as tokens.' 

The Huntsman obeyed, 
and took Snowdrop out into 
the forest, but when he drew 
his hunting-knife and was 
preparing to plunge it into 
her innocent heart, she be- 
gan to cry : 

' Alas ! dear Huntsman, 
sjDare my life, and I will run 
away into the wild forest and 
never come back again.' 

And because of her beauty 

the Huntsman had pity on 

her and said, 'Well, run 

away, poor child.' Wild 

beasts will soon devour you, he thought, but still he felt as 

though a weight were lifted from his heart because he had 


■ Mirror, Mirror on the wall, 
AV'lio is fairest of us all ?' 


not been obliged to kill her. And as just at that moment 
a young fawn came leaping by, he pierced it and took the 
lungs and liver as tokens to the Queen. The Cook was ordered 
to serve them up in pickle, and the wicked Queen ate them 
thinking that they were Snowdrop's. 

Now the poor child was alone in the great wood, with no 
living soul near, and she was so frightened that she knew not 
what to do. Then she began to run, and ran over the sharp 
stones and through the brambles, while the animals passed 
her by without harming her. She ran as far as her feet could 
carry her till it was nearly evening, when she saw a little house 
and went in to rest. Inside, everything was small, but as 
neat and clean as could be. A small table covered with a 
white cloth stood ready with seven small plates, and by every 
plate was a spoon, knife, fork, and cup. Seven little beds 
were ranged against the walls, covered with snow-white 
coverlets. As Snowdrop was very hungry and thirsty she 
ate a little bread and vegetable from each plate, and drank a 
little wine from each cup, for she did not want to eat up the 
whole of one portion. Then, being very tired, she lay down 
in one of the beds. She tried them all but none suited her ; 
one was too short, another too long, all except the seventh, 
which was iust right. She remained in it, said her prayers, 
and fell asleep. 

When it was quite dark the masters of the house came in. 
They were seven Dwarfs, who used to dig in the mountains for 
ore. They kindled their lights, and as soon as they could see 
they noticed that some one had been there, for everything 
was not in the order in which they had left it. 

The first said, ' Who has been sitting in my chair ? ' 
The second said, ' Who has been eating off my plate ? ' 
The third said, ' Who has been nibbling my bread ? ' 
The fourth said, ' Who has been eating my vegetables ? ' 
The fifth said, ' Who has been using my fork ? ' 
The sixth said, ' Who has been cutting with my knife ? ' 
The seventh said, ' Wlio has been drinking out of my cup ? ' 



Then the first looked and saw a slight impression on his 
bed, and said, ' Who has been treading on my bed ? ' The 
others came running up and said, ' And mine, and mine.' 

In the evenine: the sevou Dwarfs came back. 

But the seventh, when he looked into his bed, saw Snowdrop, 
who lay there asleep. He called the others, who came up and 
cried out with astonishment, as they held their lights and 


gazed at Snowdrop. ' Heavens ! what a beautiful child,' 
they said, and they were so dehghted that they did not wake 
her up but left her asleep in bed. And the seventh Dwarf 
slept with his comrades, an hour with each all through the 

When morning came Snowdrop woke up, and when she saw 
the seven Dwarfs she was frightened. 

But they were very kind and asked her name. 

' I am called Snowdrop,' she answered. 

' How did you get into our house ? ' they asked. 

Then she told them how her stepmother had wished to get 
rid of her, how the Huntsman had spared her life, and how 
she had run all day till she had found the house. 

Then the Dwarfs said, ' Will you look after our household, 
cook, make the beds, wash, sew and knit, and keep everything 
neat and clean ? If so you shall stay with us and want for 

' Yes,' said Snowdrop, ' with all my heart ' ; and she 
stayed with them and kept the house in order. 

In the morning they went to the mountain and searched 
for copper and gold, and in the evening they came back and 
then their meal had to be ready. All day the maiden was 
alone, and the good Dwarfs warned her and said, ' Beware of 
your stepmother, who will soon learn that you are here. Don't 
let any one in.' 

But the Queen, ha\'ing, as she imagined, eaten Snowdrop's 
liver and lungs, and feeling certain that she was the fairest of 
all, stepped in front of her Glass, and asked — 

' Mirror, Mirror on the wall. 
Who is fairest of us all ? ' 

the Glass answered as usual — 

' Queen, thou art fairest here, I hold. 
But Snowdrop over the fells. 
Who with the seven Dwarfs dwells. 
Is fairer still a thousandfold.'' 



She was dismayed, for she knew that the Glass told no Hes, 
and she saw that the Hunter had deceived her and that 
Snowdrop still lived. Accordingly she began to wonder 
afresh how she might compass her death ; for as long as she 
was not the fairest in the land her jealous heart left her no 
rest. At last she thought of a plan. She dyed her face and 
dressed up like an old Pedlar, so that she was quite unrecognis- 
able. In this guise she crossed over the seven mountains to 
the home of the seven Dwarfs and called out, ' Wares for sale.' 

Snowdrop peeped out of the window and said, ' Good-day, 
mother, what have you got to sell ? ' 

' Good wares, fine wares,' she answered, ' laces of every 
colour ' ; and she held out one which was made of gay plaited 

' I may let the honest woman in,' thought Snowdrop, and 
she unbolted the door and bought the pretty lace. 

' Child,' said the Old Woman, ' what a sight you are, I will 
lace you properly for once.' 

Snowdrop made no objection, and placed herself before the 
Old Woman to let her lace her with the new lace. But the Old 
Woman laced so quickly and tightly that she took away Snow- 
drop's breath and she fell down as though dead. 

' Now I am the fairest,' she said to herself, and hurried 

Not long after the seven Dwarfs came home, and were 
horror-struck when they saw their dear little Snowdrop lying 
on the floor without stirring, hke one dead. When they saw 
she was laced too tight they cut the lace, whereupon she began 
to breathe and soon came back to life again. When the 
Dwarfs heard what had happened, they said that the old 
Pedlar was no other than the wicked Queen. ' Take care not 
to let any one in when we are not here,' they said. 

Now the wicked Queen, as soon as she got home, went to 
the Glass and asked — 

'Mirror, Mirror on the wall. 
Who is fairest of us all ? ' 


and it answered as usual — 

' Queen, tliou art fairest here, I hold. 
But Snowdrop over tlie fells, 
Wiio with the seven Dwarfs dwells, 
Is fairer still a thousandfold.' 

Wlien she heard it all her blood flew to her heart, so enraged 
was she, for she knew that Snowdrop had come back to life 
again. Then she thought to herself, ' I must plan something 
which will put an end to her.' By means of witchcraft, in 
which she was skilled, she made a poisoned comb. Next she 
disguised herself and took the form of a different Old Woman. 
She crossed the mountains and came to the home of the seven 
Dwarfs, and knocked at the door calling out, ' Good wares to 

Snowdrop looked out of the window and said, ' Go away, I 
must not let any one in.' 

' At least you may look,' answered the Old Woman, and 
she took the poisoned comb and held it up. 

The child was so pleased with it that she let herself be 
beguiled, and opened the door. 

When she had made a bargain the Old Woman said, ' Now 
I will comb your hair properly for once.' 

Poor Snov/drop, suspecting no evil, let the Old Woman 
have her way, but scarcely was the poisoned comb fixed in 
her hair than the poison took effect, and the maiden fell down 

' You paragon of beauty,' said the wicked woman, ' now it is 
all over with you,' and she went away. 

Happily it was near the time when the seven Dwarfs came 
home. When they saw Snowdrop lying on the ground as 
though dead, they immediately suspected her stepmother, 
and searched till they found the poisoned comb. No sooner 
had they removed it than Snowdrop came to herself again and 
related what had happened. They warned her again to be on 
her guard, and to open the door to no one. 



When she got home the Queen stood before her Glass and 
said — 

' Mirror, Mirror on the wall, 
Who is fairest of us all ? ' 

and it answered as usual — 

' Queen, thou art fairest here, I hold. 
But Snowdrop over the fells. 
Who with the seven Dwarfs dwells. 
Is fairer still a thousandfold.' 

When she heard the Glass speak these words she trembled and 
quivered with rage, ' Snowdrop shall die,' she said, ' even if it 
cost me my own life.' Thereupon she went into a secret room, 
which no one ever entered but herself, and made a poisonous 
apple. Outwardly it was beautiful to look tipon, with rosy 
cheeks, and every one who saw it longed for it, but Avhoever 
ate of it was certain to die. Wlien the apple was ready she 
dyed her face and dressed herself like an old Peasant Woman 
and so crossed the seven hills to the Dwarfs' home. There she 

Snowdrop put her head out of the window and said, ' I 
must not let any one in, the seven Dwarfs have forbidden me.' 

' It is all the same to me,' said the Peasant Woman. ' I 
shall soon get rid of my apples. There, I will give you one.' 

' No ; I must not take anything.' 

' Are you afraid of poison ? ' said the woman. ' See, 
I will cut the apple in half : you eat the red side and I will keep 
the other.' 

Now the apple was so cunningly painted that the red half 
alone was poisoned. Snowdrop longed for the apple, and 
when she saw the Peasant Woman eating she could hold out 
no longer, stretched out her hand and took the poisoned half. 
Scarcely had she put a bit into her mouth than she fell dead to 
the ground. 

The Queen looked with a fiendish glance, and laughed aloud 
and said, ' White as snow, red as blood, and black as ebony, 


this time the Dwarfs cannot wake you up again.' And when 
she got home and asked the Looking-glass — 

' Mirror, Mirror on the wall, 
VViio is fairest of us all ? ' 

it answered at last — 

' Queen, thou Vt fairest of them all/ 

Then her jealous heart was at rest, as much at rest as a 
jealous heart can be. The Dwarfs, when they came at evening, 
found Snowdrop lying on the ground and not a breath escaped 
her lips, and she was quite dead. They lifted her up and 
looked to see whether any poison was to be found, unlaced her 
dress, combed her hair, washed her with wine and water, but 
it was no use ; their dear child was dead. They laid her on a 
bier, and all seven sat down and bewailed her and lamented 
over her for three whole days. Then they prepared to biu-y 
her, but she looked so fresh and living, and still had such 
beautiful rosy cheeks, that they said, ' We cannot bury her 
in the dark earth.' And so they had a transparent glass 
coffin made, so that she could be seen from every side, laid her 
inside and wrote on it in letters of gold her name and how she 
was a King's daughter. Then they set the coffin out on the 
mountain, and one of them always stayed by and watched it. 
And the birds came too and mourned for Snowdrop, first an 
owl, then a raven, and lastly a dove. 

Now Snowdrop lay a long, long time in her coffin, looking 
as though she were asleep. It happened that a Prince was 
wandering in the wood, and came to the home of the seven 
Dwarfs to pass the night. He saw the coffin on the mountain 
and lovely Snowdrop inside, and read what was written in 
golden letters. Then he said to the Dwarfs, ' Let me have 
the coffin ; I will give you whatever you like for it.' 

But they said, ' We will not give it up for all the gold of the 

Then he said, ' Then give it to me as a gift, for I cannot 



live without Snowdrop to gaze upon ; and I will honour and 
reverence it as my dearest treasure.' 

When he had said these words the good Dwarfs pitied him 
and gave him the coffin. 

The Prince bade his servants carry it on their shoulders. 
Now it happened that they stumbled over some brushwood, 
and the shock dislodged the piece of apple from Snowdrop's 
throat. In a short time she opened her eyes, lifted the lid of 
the coffin, sat up and came back to life again completely. 

' O Heaven ! where am I ? ' she asked. 

The Prince, full of joy, said, ' You are with me,' and he 
related what had happened, and then said, ' I love you better 
than all the world ; come with me to my father's castle and be 
my wife.' 

Snowdrop agreed and went with him, and their wedding 
was celebrated with great magnificence. Snowdrop's wicked 
stepmother was invited to the feast ; and when she had put 
on her fine clothes she stepped to her Glass and asked — 

' Mirror, Mirror on the wall, 
Who is fairest of us all V 

The Glass answered — 

' Queen, thou art fairest here, I hold. 
The young Queen fairer a thousandfold.' 

Then the wicked woman uttered a curse, and was so 
terribly frightened that she didn't know what to do. Yet she 
had no rest : she felt obliged to go and see the young Queen. 
And when she came in she recognised Snowdrop, and stood 
stock still with fear and terror. But iron slippers were heated 
over the fire, and were soon brought in with tongs and put 
before her. And she had to step into the red-hot shoes and 
dance till she fell down dead. 


The Pink 

THERE was once a Queen, who had not been blessed 
with children. As she walked in her garden, she 
prayed every morning that a son or daughter might 
be given to her. Then one day an Angel came, and said to her : 
' Be content : you shall have a son, and he shall be endowed 
with the power of wishing, so that whatsoever he wishes for 
shall be granted to him.' She hurried to the King, and told 
him the joyful news ; and when the time came a son was born 
to them, and they were filled with delight. 

Every morning the Queen used to take her little son into 
the gardens, where the wild animals were kept, to bathe him in 
a clear, sparkling fountain. It happened one day, when the 
child was a little older, that as she sat with him on her lap she 
fell asleep. 

The old Cook, who knew that the child had the power of 
wishing, came by and stole it ; he also killed a Chicken, and 
dropped some of its blood on the Queen's garments. Then he 
took the child away to a secret place, where he placed it out 
to be nursed. Then he ran back to the King, and accused the 
Queen of having allowed her child to be carried off by a wild 

When the King saw the blood on the Queen's garments 
he believed the story, and was overwhelmed with anger. He 
caused a high tower to be built, into which neither the sun nor 
the moon could penetrate. Then he ordered his wife to be 
shut up in it, and the door walled up. She was to stay there 
for seven years, without eating or drinking, so as gradually to 
pine away. But two Angels from heaven, in the shape of 



white doves, came to her, bringing food twice a day till the 
seven years were ended. 

Meanwhile the Cook thought, ' If the child really has the 
power of wishing, and I stay here, I might easily fall into 
disgrace.' So he left the palace, and went to the boy, who 
was then old enough to talk, and said to him, ' Wish for a 
beautiful castle, with a garden, and everything belonging to it.' 
Hardly had the words passed the boy's lips than all that he 
had asked for was there. 

After a time the Cook said, ' It is not good for you to be 
so much alone ; wish for a beautiful Maiden to be your 

The Prince uttered the wish, and immediately a Maiden 
stood before them, more beautiful than any painter could 
paint. So they grew very fond of each other, and played 
together, while the old Cook went out hunting like any grand 
gentleman. But the idea came to him one day that the 
Prince might wish to go to his father some time, and he would 
thereby be placed in a very awkward position. So he took 
the Maiden aside, and said to her, ' To-night, when the boy is 
asleep, go and drive this knife into his heart. Then bring me 
his heart and his tongue. If you fail to do it, you will lose 
your own life.' 

Then he went away ; but when the next day came the 
Maiden had not yet obeyed his command, and she said, ' Why 
should I shed his innocent blood, when he has never done harm 
to any creature in his life ? ' 

The Cook again said, ' If you do not obey me, you will lose 
your own life.' 

When he had gone away, she ordered a young hind to be 
brought and killed ; then she cut out its heart and its tongue, 
and put them on a dish. When she saw the old man coming 
she said to the boy, ' Get into bed, and cover yoiu-self right 

The old scoundrel came in and said, ' Where are the tongue 
and the heart of the boy ? ' 


The scullions brought live coals, which he had to eat till the 
flames poured out of his mouth. 

The Maiden gave him the dish ; but the Prince threw off 
the coverings, and said, ' You old sinner, why did you want 
to kill me ? Now hear your sentence. You shall be turned 
into a black Poodle, with a gold chain round your neck, and 
you shall be made to eat live coals, so that flames of fire may 
come out of your mouth.' 

As he said the words, the old man was changed into a 
black Poodle, with a gold chain round his neck ; and the 
scullions brought live coals, which he had to eat till the flames 
poured out of his mouth. 

The Prince stayed on at the castle for a time, thinking of 
his mother, and wondering if she were still alive. At last he 
said to the Maiden, ' I am going into my own country. If 
you Uke you can go with me ; I will take you.' 



She answered : ' Alas ! it is so far off, and what should I 
do in a strange country where I know no one ? ' 

As she did not wish to go, and yet they could not bear to 
be parted, he changed her into a beautiful Pink, which he took 
with him. 

Then he set out on his journey, and the Poodle was made 
to run alongside till the Prince reached his own country. 

Arrived there, he went straight to the tower where his 
mother Avas imprisoned, and as the tower was so high he wished 
for a ladder to reach the top. Then he climbed up, looked in, 
and cried, ' Dearest mother, lady Queen, are you still alive ? ' 

She, thinking it was the Angels who brought her food come 
back, said, ' I have just eaten ; I do not want anything 

Then he said, ' I am your own dear son whom the wild 
animals were supposed to have devoured ; but I am still alive, 
and I shall soon come and rescue you.' 

Then he got down and went to his father. He had himself 
announced as a strange Huntsman, anxious to take service 
with the King, who said, ' Yes ; if he was skilled in game 
preserving, and could procure plenty of venison, he would 
engage him. But there had never before been any game in the 
whole district.' 

The Huntsman promised to procure as much game as the 
King could possibly require for the royal table. 

Then he called the whole Hunt together, and ordered them 
all to come into the forest with him. He caused a great circle 
to be enclosed, with only one outlet ; then he took his place 
in the middle, and began to wish as hard as he could. Immedi- 
ately over two hundred head of game came running into the 
enclosure ; these the Huntsmen had to shoot, and then they 
were piled on to sixty country wagons, and driven home to the 
King. So for once he was able to load his board with game, 
after having had none for many years. 

The King was much pleased, and commanded his whole 
court to a banquet on the following day. When they were all 


assembled, he said to the Huntsman, ' You shall sit by me as 
you are so clever.' 

He answered, ' My lord and King, may it please your 
Majesty, I am only a poor Huntsman ! ' 

The King, however, insisted, and said, ' I command you 
to sit by me.' 

As he sat there, his thoughts wandered to his dear mother, 
and he Avished one of the courtiers would speak of her. Hardly 
had he wished it than the Lord High Marshal said — 

' Your Majesty, we are all rejoicing here, how fares it with 
Her Majesty the Queen ? Is she still alive in the tower, or has 
she perished ? ' 

But the King answered, ' She allowed my beloved son to be 
devoured by wild animals, and I do not wish to hear anything 
about her.' 

Then the Huntsman stood up and said — 

' Gracious father, she is still alive, and I am her son. He 
was not devoured by wild animals ; he was taken away by 
the scoundrel of a Cook. He stole me while my mother was 
asleep, and sprinkled her garments with the blood of a chicken.' 
Then he brought up the black Poodle with the golden chain, 
and said, ' This is the villain.' 

He ordered some live coals to be brought, which he made 
the dog eat in the sight of all the people till the flames poured 
out of his mouth. Then he asked the King if he would like 
to see the Cook in his true shape, and wished him back, and 
there he stood in his white apron, with his knife at his side. 

The King was furious when he saw him, and ordered him 
to be thrown into the deepest dungeon. Then the Huntsman 
said further — 

' My father would you like to see the Maiden who so 
tenderly saved my life when she was ordered to kill me, 
although by so doing she might have lost her own life ? ' 

The King answered, ' Yes, I will gladly see her.' 

Then his son said, ' Gracious father, I will show her to you 
first in the guise of a beautiful flower.' 



He put his hand into his pocket, and brought out the Pink. 
It was a finer one than the King had ever seen before. Then 
his son said, ' Now, I will show her to you in her true form.' 

The moment his wish was uttered, she stood before them 
in all her beauty, which was greater than any artist could 

The King sent ladies and gentlemen-in-waiting to the 
tower to bring the Queen back to his royal table. But when 
they reached the tower they found that she would no longer 
eat or drink, and she said, ' The merciful God, who has 
preserved my life so long, will soon release me now.' 

Three days after she died. At her burial the two white 
Doves which had brought her food during her captivity, 
followed and hovered over her grave. 

The old King caused the wicked Cook to be torn into four 
quarters ; but his own heart was filled with grief and remorse, 
and he died soon after. 

His son married the beautiful Maiden he had brought home 
with him as a Flower, and, for all I know, they may be living 


Clever Elsa 

THERE was once a Man who had a daughter called 
Clever Elsa. When she was grown up, her Father 
said : ' We must get her married.' 

' Yes,' said her Mother ; ' if only somebody came who 
would have her.' 

At last a suitor, named Hans, came from a distance. He 
made an offer for her on condition that she really was as clever 
as she was said to be. 

' Oh ! ' said her Father, ' she is a long-headed lass.' 

And her Mother said : ' She can see the wind blowing in the 
street, and hear the flies coughing.' 

' Well,' said Hans, ' if she is not really clever, I won't have 

When they were at dinner, her Mother said : ' Elsa, go to 
the cellar and draw some beer.' 

Clever Elsa took the jug from the nail on the wall, and 
went to the cellar, clattering the lid as she went, to pass the 
time. When she reached the cellar she placed a chair near the 
cask so that she need not hurt her back by stooping. Then 
she put down the jug before her and turned the tap. And 
while the beer was running, so as not to be idle, she let her eyes 
rove all over the place, looking this way and that. 

Suddenly she discovered a pickaxe just above her head, 
which a mason had by chance left hanging among the rafters. 

Clever Elsa burst into tears, and said : ' If I marry Hans, 
and we have a child, when it grows big, and we send it down 
to draw beer, the pickaxe will fall on its head and kill it.' So 
there she sat crying and lamenting loudly at the impending 

M 177 


The others sat upstairs waiting for the beer, but Clever 
Elsa never came back. 

Then the Mistress said to her Servant : ' Go down to the 
cellar, and see why Elsa does not come back.' 

The Maid went, and found Elsa sitting by the cask, weeping 
bitterly. ' Why, Elsa, whatever are you crying for ? ' she 

' Alas ! ' she answered, ' have I not cause to cry ? If I 
marry Hans, and we have a child, when he grows big, and 
we send him down to draw beer, perhaps that pickaxe will 
fall on his head and kill him.' 

Then the Maid said : ' What a Clever Elsa we have ' ; and 
she, too, sat down by Elsa, and began to cry over the 

After a time, as the Maid did not come back, and they 
were growing very thirsty, the Master said to the Serving- 
man : ' Go down to the cellar and see what has become of 
Elsa and the Maid.' 

The Man went down, and there sat Elsa and the Maid 
weeping together. So he said : ' What are you crying for ? ' 

' Alas ! ' said Elsa, ' have I not enough to cry for ? If I 
marry Hans, and we have a child, and we send it when it is 
big enough into the cellar to draw beer, the pickaxe will fall 
on its head and kill it.' 

The Man said : ' What a Clever Elsa we have ' ; and he, 
too, joined them and howled in company. 

The people upstairs waited a long time for the Serving- 
man, but as he did not come back, the Husband said to his 
Wife : ' Go down to the cellar yourself, and see what has 
become of Elsa.' 

So the Mistress went down and found all three making loud 
lamentations, and she asked the cause of their grief. 

Then Elsa told her that her future child would be killed 
by the falling of the pickaxe when it was big enough to be 
sent to draw the beer. Her Mother said with the others : 
' Did you ever see such a Clever Elsa as we have ? ' 


Her Husband upstairs waited 
some time, but as his Wife did not 
return, and his thirst grew greater, 
he said : ' I must go to the cellar 
myself to see what has become of 

But when he got to the cellar, 
and found all the others sitting 
together in tears, caused by 
the fear that a child which 
Elsa might one day have, 
if she married Hans, might 
be killed by the falling 
of the pickaxe, when it 
went to draw beer, he too 
cried — 

' What a Clever Elsa 
we have ! ' 

Then he, too, sat down 
and added his lamentations 
to theirs. 

The bridegroom waited 
alone upstairs for a long 
time ; then, as nobody came 
back, he "thought : ' They 
must be waiting for me 
down there, I must go and 
see what they are doing,' 

So down he went, and 
when he found them all 
crying and lamenting in 
a heart-breaking manner, 
each one louder than the 
other, he asked : ' What 
misfortune can possibly 
have happened ? ' 

When she saw the pick-axe just above her 
head, Clever Elsa burst into tears. 



' Alas, dear Hans ! ' said Elsa, ' if we marry and have a 
child, and we send it to draw beer when it is big enough, it 
may be killed if that pickaxe left hanging there were to fall 
on its head. Have we not cause to lament ? ' 

' Well,' said Hans, ' more wits than this I do not need ; 
and as you are such a Clever Elsa I will have you for my wife.' 

He took her by the hand, led her upstairs, and they 
celebrated the marriage. 

When they had been married for a while, Hans said : 
' Wife, I am going to work to earn some money ; do you go 
into the fields and cut the corn, so that we may have some 

' Yes, my dear Hans ; I will go at once.' 

When Hans had gone out, she made some good broth and 
took it into the field with her. 

When she got there, she said to herself : ' What shall I do, 
reap first, or eat first ? I will eat first.' 

So she finished up the bowl of broth, which she found very 
satisfying, so she said again : ' Which shall I do, sleep first, 
or reap first ? I will sleep first.' So she lay down among the 
corn and went to sleep. 

Hans had been home a long time, and no Elsa came, so he 
said : ' What a Clever Elsa I have. She is so industrious, 
she does not even come home to eat.' 

But as she still did not come, and it was getting dusk, Hans 
went out to see how much corn she had cut. He found that 
she had not cut any at all, and that she was lying there fast 
asleep. Hans hurried home to fetch a fowler's net with little 
bells on it, and this he hung around her without waking her. 
Then he ran home, shut the house door, and sat down to 

At last, when it was quite dark, Clever Elsa woke up, and 
when she got up there was such a jangling, and the bells jingled 
at every step she took. She was terribly frightened, and 
wondered whether she really was Clever Elsa or not, and said : 
' Is it me, or is it not me ? ' 


But she did not know what to answer, and stood for a time 
doubtful. At last she thought : ' I will go home, and ask if 
it is me, or if it is not me ; they will be sure to know.' 

She ran to the house, but found the door locked ; so she 
knocked at the window, and cried : ' Hans, is Elsa at home ? ' 

' Yes,' answered Hans, ' she is ! ' 

Then she started and cried : ' Alas ! then it is not me,' 
and she went to another door ; but when the people heard the 
jingling of the bells, they would not open the door, and no- 
where would they take her in. 

So she ran away out of the village, and was never seen 


The Jew among the Thorns 

THERE was once a rich Man, and he had a Servant who 
served him well and faithfully. He was first up in 
the morning, and last to go to bed at night. If there 
was any hard work to be done which no one else would do, 
he was always ready to undertake it. He never made any 
complaint, but was always merry and content. 

When his year of service was over, his Master did not give 
him any wages, thinking : ' This is my wisest plan. I save 
by it, and he is not likely to run away.' 

The Servant said nothing, and served the second year like 
the first. And when at the end of the second he again received 
no wages, he still appeared contented, and stayed on. When 
the third year had passed, the Master bethought himself, and 
put his hand into his pocket, but he brought it out empty. 

At last the Servant said : ' Master, I have served you well 
and truly for three years ; please pay me my wages. I want 
to go away and look about the world a bit.' 

The Miser answered : ' Yes, my good fellow, you have 
served me honestly, and you shall be liberally rewarded.' 

Again he put his hand into his pocket, and counted three 
farthings, one by one, into the Servant's hand, and said : 
' There, you have a farthing for every year ; that is better 
wages than you would get from most masters.' 

The good Servant, who knew little about money, put away 
his fortune, and thought : ' Now my pocket is .well filled, I 
need no longer trouble myself about work.' Then he left and 
went singing down the hill, and dancing, in the lightness of 
his heart. 


Now it so happened that as he was passing a thicket, that 
a httle Mannikin came out and cried : ' Whither away, my 
merry fellow ? I see your troubles are not too heavy to be 

' Why should I be sad ? ' answered the Servant. ' I have 
three years' wages in my pocket.' 

' And how much is your treasure ? ' asked the Mannikin. 

' How much ? Why, three good farthings.' 

' Listen ! ' said the Mannikin. ' I am a poor needy 
fellow ; give me your three farthings. I can't work any more ; 
but you are young, and can easily earn your bread.' 

Now the Servant had a good heart, and he was sorry for the 
poor little man, so he gave him his three farthings, and said : 

' Take them, in the name of heaven ! I shall not miss them.' 

' Then,' said the Mannikin, ' I see what a good heart you 
have. I will give you three wishes, one for each farthing ; 
and every wish shall be fulfilled.' 

' Aha ! ' said the Servant, ' you are a wonder-worker I see. 
Very well, then. First, I wish for a gun which will hit every- 
thing I aim at ; secondly, for a fiddle which will make every 
one dance when I play ; and, thirdly, if I ask anything of any 
one, that he shall not be able to refuse my request.' 

' You shall have them all,' said the Mannikin, diving into 
the bushes, where, wonderful to relate, lay the gun and the 
fiddle ready, just as if they had been ordered beforehand. 
He gave them to the Servant, and said : ' No one will be able 
to refuse anything you ask.' 

' Heart alive ! what more can one desire,' said the Servant 
to himself, as he went merrily on. 

Soon after, he met a Jew with a long goat's beard, who was 
standing still listening to the song of a bird sitting on the top 
of a tree. ' Good heavens ! ' he was saying, ' what a tre- 
mendous noise such a tiny creature makes. If only it were 
mine ! If one could but put some salt upon its tail ! ' 

' If that is all,' said the Servant, ' the bird shall soon come 



He took aim, and down fell the bird into a quickset hedge. 

' Go, you rogue,' he said to the Jew, ' and piek up the bird.' 

' Leave out the " rogue," young man. I will get the bird 
sure enough, as you have killed it for me,' said the Jew. 

He lay down on the ground and began to creep into the 

When he had got well among the thorns, a spirit of mischief 
seized the Servant, and he began to play his fiddle with all 

The Jew was forced to spring up and begin to dance. 

his might. The Jew was forced to spring up and begin to 
dance, and the more the Servant played, the faster he had to 
dance. The thorns tore his shabby coat, combed his goat's 
beard, and scratched him all over. 

' Merciful Heavens ! ' cried the Jew. ' Leave off that 
fiddling ! I don't want to dance, my good fellow.' 

But the Servant paid no attention to him, but thought : 
' You have fleeced plenty of people in your time, my man, and 


the thorns shan't spare you now ! ' And he played on and on, 
so that the Jew had to jump higher and higher, till his coat 
hung in ribbons about him, 

' I cry " enough ! " ' screamed the Jew. ' I will give you 
anything you like if you will only stop. Take the purse, it is 
full of gold.' 

' Oh, well, if you are so open-handed,' said the Servant, ' I 
am quite ready to stop my music, but I must say in praise of 
your dancing, that it has quite a style of its own.' Then he 
took the purse and went on his way. 

The Jew stood still looking after him till he was a good 
way off, then he screamed with all his might : ' You miserable 
fiddler ! Just you wait till I find you alone ! I will chase 
you till the soles of your shoes drop off — you rascal ! ' And 
he went on pouring out a stream of abuse. Having relieved 
himself by so doing, he hurried off to the Judge in the nearest 

' Just look here, your worship,' he said, ' look how I have 
been attacked, and ill-treated, and robbed on the high road by 
a wretch. My condition might melt the heart of a stone ; 
my clothes and my body torn and scratched, and my pvirse 
with all my poor little savings taken away from me. All my 
beautiful ducats, each one prettier than the other. Oh dear ! 
Oh dear ! For heaven's sake, put the wretch in prison.' 

The Judge said : ' Was it a soldier who punished you so 
with his sword ? ' 

' Heaven preserve us ! ' cried the Jew, ' he had no sword, 
but he had a gun on his shoulder and a fiddle round his neck. 
The villain is easily to be recognised.' 

So the Judge sent out men in pursuit of the honest Servant, 
who had walked on slowly. They soon overtook him, and the 
purse of gold was found on him. When he was brought before 
the Judge, he said — 

' I never touched the Jew, nor did I take his money away ; 
he offered it to me of his own free will if I would only stop 
playing, because he could not bear my music' 



' Heaven defend us ! ' screamed the Jew, ' his lies are as 
thick as flies on the wall.' 

And the Judge did not believe him either, and said : 

' That is a very lame ex- 
cuse ; no Jew ever did 
such a thing.' So he sen- 
tenced the honest Servant 
to the gallows for having 
committed a robbery upon 
the king's highway. 

When he was being led 
away, the Jew screamed 
after him ; ' You vaga- 
bond, you dog of a fiddler, 
now you will get your 
deserts ! ' 

The Servant mounted 
the ladder to the gallows 
quite quietly, with the 
halter round his neck ; 
but at the last rung he 
turned round and said 
to the Judge : ' Grant 
me one favour before I 

' Certainly,' said the 
Judge, ' as long as you 
don't ask for your life.' 
' Not my life,' an- 
"^^ y swered the Servant. ' I 
only ask to play my 
fiddle once more.' 

The Jew raised a tre- 
mendous cry. ' Don't allow it, your worship, for heaven's 
sake, don't allow it ! ' 

But the Judge said : ' Why should I deny him that short 

Danciug as hard as he could. 


pleasure ? His wish is granted, and there 's an end of the 
matter ! ' 

He could not have refused even if he had wished, because 
of the Mannikin's gift to the Servant. 

The Jew screamed, ' Oh dear ! Oh dear ! Tie me tight, 
tie me tight ! ' 

The good Servant took his fiddle from his neck, and put 
it into position, and at the first chord everybody began to wag 
their heads, the Judge, his Clerk, and all the Officers of Justice, 
and the rope fell out of the hand of the man about to bind the 

At the second scrape, they all lifted their legs, and the 
Hangman let go his hold of the honest Servant, to make ready 
to dance. 

At the third scrape they one and all leapt into the air, and 
began to caper about, the Judge and the Jew at the head, 
and they all leapt their best. 

Soon, every one who had come to the market-place out of 
curiosity, old and young, fat and lean, were dancing as hard 
as they could ; even the dogs got upon their hind legs, and 
pranced about with the rest. The longer he played, the 
higher they jumped, till they knocked their heads together, 
and made each other cry out. 

At last the Judge, quite out of breath, cried : ' I will give 
you your life, if only you will stop playing.' 

The honest Servant allowed himself to be prevailed upon, 
laid his fiddle aside, and came down the ladder. Then he 
went up to the Jew, who lay upon the ground gasping, and 
said to him : 

' You rascal, confess where you got the money, or I will 
begin to play again.' 

' I stole it ! I stole it ! ' he screamed ; ' but you have 
honestly earned it.' 

The Judge then ordered the Jew to the gallows to be 
hanged as a thief. 



THE wife of a rich man fell ill, and when she felt that she 
was nearing her end, she called her only daughter to 
her bedside, and said : 

' Dear child, continue devout and good, then God will 
always help you, and I will look down upon you from heaven, 
and watch over you.' 

Thereupon she closed her eyes, and breathed her last. 

The maiden went to her mother's grave every day and 
wept, and she continued to be devout and good. When the 
Avinter came, the snow spread a white covering on the grave, 
and when the sun of spring had unveiled it again, the husband 
took another wife. The new wife brought home with her 
two daughters, who were fair and beautiful to look upon, but 
base and black at heart. 

Then began a sad time for the unfortunate step-child. 

' Is this stupid goose to sit with us in the parlouLr ? ' they 

' Whoever wants to eat bread must earn it ; go and sit 
with the kitchenmaid.' 

They took away her pretty clothes, and made her put on an 
old grey frock, and gave her wooden clogs. 

' Just look at the proud Princess, how well she 's dressed,' 
they laughed, as they led her to the kitchen. There, the girl 
was obliged to do hard work from morning till night, to get 
up at daybreak, carry water, light the fire, cook, and wash. 
Not content with that, the sisters inflicted on her every 
vexation they could think of ; they made fun of her, and 
tossed the peas and lentils among the ashes, so that she had to 


sit down and pick them out again. In the evening, when she 
was worn out with work, she had no bed to go to, but had to 
he on the hearth among the cinders. And because, on account 
of that, she always looked dusty and dirty, they called her 

It happened one day that the Father had a mind to go to 
the Fair. So he asked both his step-daughters what he should 
bring home for them. 

' Fine clothes,' said one. 

' Pearls and jewels,' said the other. 

' But you, Ashenputtel ? ' said he, ' what will you have ? ' 

' Father, break off for me the first twig which brushes 
against your hat on your way home.' 

Well, for his two step-daughters he brought beautiful 
clothes, pearls and jewels, and on his way home, as he was 
riding through a green copse, a hazel twig grazed against him 
and knocked his hat off. Then he broke off the branch and 
took it with him. 

When he got home he gave his step-daughters what they 
had asked for, and to Ashenputtel he gave the twig from the 
hazel bush. 

Ashenputtel thanked him, and went to her mother's grave 
and planted the twig upon it ; she wept so much that her 
tears fell and watered it. And it took root and became a 
fine tree. 

Ashenputtel went to the grave three times every day, wept 
and prayed, and every time a little white bird came and 
perched upon the tree, and when she uttered a wish, the little 
bird threw down to her what she had wished for. 

Now it happened that the King proclaimed a festival, 
which was to last three days, and to which all the beautiful 
maidens in the country were invited, in order that his son 
might choose a bride. 

When the two step-daughters heard that they were also to 
be present, they were in high spirits, called Ashenputtel, and 
said : 



' Brush our hair and clean our shoes, and fasten our 
buckles, for we are going to the feast at the King's palace.' 

Ashenputtel obeyed, but wept, for she also would gladly 
have gone to the ball with them, and begged her step-mother 
to give her leave to go. 

' You, Ashenputtel ! ' she said. ' Why, you are covered 
with dust and dirt. You go to the festival ! Besides you 
have no clothes or shoes, and yet you want to go to the ball.' 

As she, however, went on asking, her Step-mother said : 

' Well, I have thrown a dishful of lentils into the cinders, if 
you have picked them all out in two hours you shall go with 

The girl went through the back door into the garden, and 
cried, ' Ye gentle doves, ye turtle doves, and all ye little birds 
under heaven, come and help me, 


' The good into a dish to throw. 

The bad into your crops can go.' 

Then two white doves came in by the kitchen window, 
and were followed by the turtle doves, and finally all the little 
birds under heaven flocked in, chirping, and settled down 
among the ashes. And the doves gave a nod with their little 
heads, peck, peck, peck ; and then the rest began also, peck, 
peck, peck, and collected all the good beans into the dish. 
Scarcely had an hour passed before they had finished, and all 
flown out again. 

Then the girl brought the dish to her Step-mother, and 
was delighted to think that now she would be able to go to the 
feast with them. 

But she said, ' No, Ashenputtel, you have no clothes, and 
cannot dance ; you will only be laughed at.' 

But when she began to cry, the Step-mother said : 

' If you can pick out two whole dishes of lentils from the 
ashes in an hour, you shall go with us.' 

And she thought, ' She will never be able to do that.' 

When her Step-mother had thrown the dishes of lentils 


among the ashes, the girl went out through the back door, 
and cried, ' Ye gentle doves, ye turtle doves, and all ye little 
birds under heaven, come and help me, 

' The good into a dish to throw. 
The bad into your crops can go.' 

Then two white doves came in by the kitchen window, 
and were followed by the turtle doves, and all the other little 
birds under heaven, and in less than an hour the whole had 
been picked up, and they had all flown away. 

Then the girl carried the dish to her Step-mother, and was 
delighted to think that she would now be able to go to the ball. 

But she said, ' It 's not a bit of good. You can't go with 
us, for you 've got no clothes, and you can't dance. We 
should be quite ashamed of you.' 

Thereupon she turned her back upon her, and hurried off 
with her two proud daughters. 

As soon as every one had left the house, Ashenputtel went 
out to her mother's grave under the hazel-tree, and cried : 

' Shiver and shake, dear little tree, 
Gold and silver sliower on me.' 

Then the bird threw down to her a gold and silver robe, 
and a pair of slippers embroidered with silk and silver. 
With all speed she put on the robe and went to the feast. 
But her step-sisters and their mother did not recognise her, 
and supposed that she was some foreign Princess, so beautiful 
did she appear in her golden dress. They never gave a 
thought to Ashenputtel, but imagined that she was sitting at 
home in the dirt picking the lentils out of the cinders. 

The Prince came up to the stranger, took her by the hand, 
and danced with her. In fact, he would not dance with any 
one else, and never left go of her hand. If any one came up 
to ask her to dance, he said, ' This is my partner.' 

She danced until nightfall, and then wanted to go home ; 
but the Prince said, ' I will go with you and escort you.' 



For he wanted to see to whom the beautiful maiden 
belonged. But she slipped out of his way and sprang into the 

Then the Prince waited till her Father came, and told him 
that the unknown maiden had vanished into the pigeon-house. 

The old man thought, ' Could it be Ashenputtel ? ' And 
he had an axe brought to him, so that he might break down 
the pigeon-house, but there was no one inside. 

AVhen they went home, there lay Ashenputtel in her dirty 
clothes among the cinders, and a dismal oil lamp was bm-ning 
in the chimney corner. For Ashenputtel had quietly jumped 
down out of the pigeon-house and ran back to the hazel-tree. 
There she had taken off her beautiful clothes and laid them 
on the grave, and the bird had taken them away again. Then 
she had settled herself among the ashes on the hearth in her 
old grey frock. 

On the second day, when the festival was renewed, and her 
parents and step-sisters had started forth again, Ashenputtel 
went to the hazel-tree, and said : 

' Shiver and shake, dear little tree. 
Gold and silver shower on me.' 

Then the bird threw down a still more gorgeous robe than 
on the previous day. And when she appeared at the festival 
in this robe, every one was astounded by her beauty. 

The King's son had waited till she came, and at once took 
her hand, and she danced with no one but him. When others 
came forward and invited her to dance, he said, ' This is my 

At nightfall she wished to leave ; but the Prince went after 
her, hoping to see into what house she went, but she sprang 
out into the garden behind the house. There stood a fine 
big tree on which the most delicious pears hung. She climbed 
up among the branches as nimbly as a squirrel, and the Prince 
could not make out what had become of her. 

But he waited till her Father came, and then said to him, 


' The unknown maiden has sUpped away from me, and I think 
that she has jumped into the pear-tree.' 

The Father thought, ' Can it be Ashenputtel ? ' And he 
had the axe brought to cut down the tree, but there was no one 
on it. When they went home and looked into the kitchen, 
there lay Ashenputtel among the cinders as usual ; for she 
had jumped down on the other side of the tree, taken back the 
beautiful clothes to the bird on the hazel-tree, and put on her 
old grey frock. 

On the third day, when her parents and sisters had started, 
Ashenputtel went again to her mother's grave, and said : 

' Shiver and shake, dear little tree. 
Gold and silver shower on me.' 

Then the bird threw down a dress which was so magnificent 
that no one had ever seen the like before, and the slippers were 
entirely of gold. When she appeared at the festival in this 
attire, they were all speechless with astonishment. The 
Prince danced only with her, and if any one else asked her to 
dance, he said, ' This is my partner.' 

When night fell and she wanted to leave, the Prince was 
more desirous than ever to accompany her, but she darted 
away from him so quickly that he could not keep up with 
her. But the Prince had used a stratagem, and had caused 
the steps to be covered with cobbler's wax. The consequence 
was, that as the maiden sprang down them, her left slipper 
remained sticking there. The Prince took it up. It was 
small and dainty, and entirely made of gold. 

The next morning he went with it to Ashenputtel's Father, 
and said to him, ' No other shall become my wife but she whose 
foot this golden slipper fits.' 

The two sisters were deUghted at that, for they both had 
beautiful feet. The eldest went into the room intending to 
try on the shpper, and her Mother stood beside her. But her 
great toe prevented her getting it on, her foot was too long. 

Then her Mother handed her a knife, and said, ' Cut off 
N 193 


the toe ; when you are Queen you won't have to walk any 

The girl cut off her toe, forced her foot into the slipper, 
stifled her pain, and went out to the Prince. Then he took 
her up on his horse as his Bride, and rode away with her. 

However, they had to pass the grave on the way, and there 
sat the two Doves on the hazel-tree, and cried : 

' Prithee, look back, prithee, look back, 
There's blood on the track. 
The shoe is too small. 
At iiome the true Bride is waiting thy call.' 

Then he looked at her foot and saw how the blood was 
streaming from it. So he turned his horse round and carried 
the false Bride back to her home, and said that she was not 
the right one ; the second sister must try the shoe. 

Then she went into the room, and succeeded in getting her 
toes into the shoe, but her heel was too big. 

Then her Mother handed her a knife, and said, ' Cut a bit 
off your heel ; when you are Queen you won't have to walk 
any more.' 

The maiden cut a bit off her heel, forced her foot into the 
shoe, stifled her pain, and went out to the Prince. 

Then he took her up on his horse as his Bride, and rode off 
with her. 

As they passed the grave, the two Doves were sitting on the 
hazel-tree, and crying : 

' Prithee, look back, prithee, look back, 
There 's blood on the track. 
The shoe is too small, 
At home the true Bride is waiting thy call.'' 

He looked down at her foot and saw that it was streaming 
with blood, and there were deep red spots on her stockings. 
Then he turned his horse and brought the false Bride back to 
her home. 


' This is not the right one either,' he said. ' Have you no 
other daughter ? ' 

' No,' said the man. ' There is only a daughter of my 
late wife's, a puny, stunted drudge, but she cannot possibly 
be the Bride.' 

The Prince said that she must be sent for. 

But the Mother answered, ' Oh no, she is much too dirty ; 
she mustn't be seen on any account.' 

He was, however, absolutely determined to have his way, 
and they were obliged to summon Ashenputtel. 

When she had washed her hands and face, she went up and 
curtsied to the Prince, who handed her the golden slipper. 

Then she sat down on a bench, pulled off her wooden clog 
and put on the slipper, which fitted to a nicety. 

And when she stood up and the Prince looked into her 
face, he recognised the beautiful maiden that he had danced 
with, and cried : ' This is the true Bride ! ' 

The Stepmother and the two sisters were dismayed and 
turned white with rage ; but he took Ashenputtel on his horse 
and rode off with her. 

As they rode past the hazel-tree the two White Doves 
cried : 

' Pritliee, look back, prithee, look back, 
No blood 's on the track, 
The shoe 's not too small, 
You carry the true Bride home to your hall.' 

And when they had said this they both came flying down, 
and settled on Ashenputtel's shoulders, one on the right, and 
one on the left, and remained perched there. 

When the wedding was going to take place, the two false 
sisters came and wanted to curry favour with her, and take 
part in her good fortune. As the bridal party was going to 
the church, the eldest was on the right side, the youngest on 
the left, and the Doves picked out one of the eyes of each of 



Afterwards, when they were coming out of the church, 
the elder was on the left, the younger on the right, and the 
Doves picked out the other eye of each of them. And so for 
their wickedness and falseness they were punished with 
blindness for the rest of their days. 


The White Snake 

ALONG time ago there lived a King whose wisdom was 
celebrated far and wide. Nothing was unknown to 
him, and news of the most secret transactions seemed 
to reach him through the air. 

Now he had one very odd habit. Every day at dinner, 
when the courtiers had withdrawn, and he was quite alone, 
a trusted Servant had to bring in another dish. It was always 
covered, and even the Servant did not know what it contained, 
nor any one else, for the King never uncovered it till he was 
alone. This had gone on for a long time, when one day the 
Servant who carried the dish was overcome by his curiosity, 
and took the dish to his own room. 

When he had carefully locked the door, he took the dish- 
cover off, and saw a White Snake lying on the dish. 

At the sight of it, he could not resist tasting it ; so he cut 
a piece off, and put it into his mouth. 

Hardly had he tasted it, however, when he heard a wonder- 
ful whispering of delicate voices. 

He went to the window and listened, and he noticed that 
the whispers came from the sparrows outside. They were 
chattering away, and telling each other all kinds of things 
that they had heard in the woods and fields. Eating the 
Snake had given him the power of understanding the language 
of birds and animals. 

Now it happened on this day that the Queen lost her most 
precious ring, and suspicion fell upon this trusted Servant 
who went about everywhere. 

The King sent for him, and threatened that if it was not 
found by the next day, he would be sent to prison. 



In vain he protested his innocence ; he was not beUeved. 

In his grief and anxiety he went down into the courtyard 
and wondered how he should get out of his difficulty. 

A number of Ducks were lying peaceably together by a 
stream, stroking down their feathers with their bills, while 
they chattered gaily. 

The Servant stood still to listen to them. They were 
telling each other of their morning's walks and experiences. 

Then one of them said somewhat fretfully : ' I have 
something Ijdng heavy on my stomach. In my haste I 
swallowed the Queen's ring this morning.' 

The Servant quickly seized it by the neck, carried it off 
into the kitchen, and said to the Cook : ' Here 's a fine fat 
Duck. You had better kill it at once.' 

' Yes, indeed,' said the Cook, weighing it in her hand. 
' It has spared no pains in stuffing itself ; it should have been 
roasted long ago.' 

So she killed it, and cut it open, and there, sure enough, 
was the Queen's ring. 

The Servant had now no difficulty in proving his innocence, 
and the King, to make up for his injustice, gave the Servant 
leave to ask any favour he liked, and promised him the highest 
post about the Court which he might desire. 

The Servant, however, declined everything but a horse, 
and some money to travel with, as he wanted to wander about 
for a while, to see the world. 

His request being granted, he set off on his travels, and 
one day came to a pond, where he saw three Fishes caught 
among the reeds, and gasping for breath. Although it is said 
that fishes are dumb, he understood their complaint at 
perishing thus miserably. As he had a compassionate heart, 
he got off his horse and put the three captives back into the 
water. They wriggled in their joy, stretched up their heads 
above the water, and cried — 

' We will remember that you saved us, and reward you for 



He rode on again, and after a time he seemed to hear a 
voice in the sand at his feet. He hstened, and heard an 
Ant-King complain : ' I wish these human beings and their 
animals would keep out of our way. A clumsy horse has just 
put his hoof down upon a number of my people in the most 
heartless way.' 

He tiu-ned his horse into a side path, and the Ant-King 
cried : ' We will remember and reward you.' 

The road now ran through a forest, and he saw a pair of 
Ravens standing by their nest throwing out their young. 

' Away with you, you gallows birds,' they were saying. 
' We can't feed you any longer. You are old enough to look 
after yourselves.' 

The poor little nestlings lay on the ground, fluttering and 
flapping their wings, and crying : ' We, poor helpless children, 
to feed ourselves, and we can't even fly ! We shall die of 
hunger, there is nothing else for it.' 

The good Youth dismounted, killed his horse with his 
sword, and left the carcase as food for the young Ravens. 
They hopped along to it, and cried : ' We will remember and 
reward you.' 

Now he had to depend upon his own legs, and after going 
a long way he came to a large town. 

There was much noise and bustle in the streets, where a 
man on horseback was making a proclamation. 

' The King's daughter seeks a husband, but any one who 
wishes to sue for her hand must accomplish a hard task ; and 
if he does not bring it to a successful issue, he will forfeit his 

Many had already attempted the task, but they had risked 
their lives in vain. 

When the Youth saw the Princess, he was so dazzled by 
her beauty that he forgot all danger, at once sought an audience 
of the King, and announced himself as a suitor. 

He was immediately led out to the seashore, and a golden 
ring was thrown into the water before his eyes. Then the 



King ordered him to fetch it ovit from the depths of the sea, 
and added — 

' If you come to land without it, you will be thrown back 
every time till you perish in the waves.' 

Every one pitied the handsome Youth, but they had to go 
and leave him standing solitary on the seashore. 

He was pondering over what he should do, when, all at 
once, he saw three Fishes swimming towards him. They were 
no others than the very ones whose lives he had saved. 

The middle one carried a mussel-shell in its mouth, which 
it laid on the sand at the feet of the Youth. When he picked 
it up, and opened it, there lay the ring. 

Full of joy, he took it to the King, expecting that he would 
give him the promised reward. 

The proud Princess, however, when she heard that he was 
not her equal, despised him, and demanded that he should 
perform yet another task. 

So she went into the garden herself, and strewed ten sacks 
of millet seeds among the grass. 

' He must pick up every one of those before the sun rises 
to-morrow morning,' said she. ' Not a grain must be missing.' 

The Youth sat miserably in the garden, wondering how it 
could possibly be done. But as he could not think of a plan, 
he remained sadly waiting for the dawn which would bring 
death to him. 

But when the first sunbeams fell on the garden, he saw the 
ten sacks full to the top, and not a grain was missing. The 
Ant-King had come in the night with thousands and thousands 
of his Ants, and the grateful creatures had picked up the 
millet and filled the sacks. 

The Princess came into the garden herself, and saw with 
amazement that the Youth had completed the task. 

But still she could not control her proud heart, and she 
said : ' Even if he has accomplished these two tasks, he shall 
not become my husband till he brings me an apple from the 
tree of life.' 


The Youth had no idea where to find the tree of life. 
However, he started off, meaning to walk as far as his legs 
would carry him ; but he had no hope of finding it. 

When he had travelled through three kingdoms, he was 
one night passing through a great forest, and he lay down 
under a tree to sleep. 

He heard a rustling among the branches, and a golden 
apple fell into his hand. At the same time three Ravens flew 
down and perched on his knee, and said : 

' We are the young Ravens you saved from death. When 
we grew big, and heard that you were looking for the golden 
apple, we flew across the sea to the end of the world, where 
the tree of life stands, and brought you the apple.' 

The Youth, delighted, started on his homeward journey, 
and took the golden apple to the beautiful Princess, who had 
now no further excuse to offer. 

They divided the apple of life, and ate it together, and 
then her heart was filled with love for him, and they lived 
happily to a great age. 


The Wolf and the Seven Kids 

THERE was once an old Nanny-goat who had seven 
Kids, and she was just as fond of them as a mother 
of her children. One day she was going into the 
woods to fetch some food for them, so she called them all up 
to her, and said — - 

' My dear children, I am going out into the woods. Beware 
of the Wolf ! If once he gets into the house, he will eat you 
up, skin, and hair, and all. The rascal often disguises himself, 
but you will know him by his rough voice and his black feet.' 

The Kids said, ' Oh, we will be very careful, dear mother. 
You may be quite happy about us.' 

Bleating tenderly, the old Goat went off to her work. 
Before long, some one knocked at the door, and cried— 

' Open the door, dear children ' Your mother has come 
back and brought something for each of you.' 

But the Kids knew quite well bv the voice that it was the 

' We won't open the door,' they cried. ' You are not our 
mother. She has a soft gentle voice ; but yours is rough, 
and we are quite sure that you are the Wolf.' 

So he went away to a shop and bought a lump of chalk, 
which he ate, and it made his voice quite soft. He went back, 
knocked at the door again, and cried — 

' Open the door, dear children. Your mother has come 
back and brought something for each of you.' 

But the Wolf had put one of his paws on the window sill, 
where the Kids saw it, and cried — 

' We won't open the door. Our mother has not got a 
black foot as you have ; you are the Wolf.' 


Then the Wolf ran to a Baker, and said, ' I have bruised 
my foot ; please put some dough on it.' And when the Baker 
had put some dough on his foot, he ran to the Miller and said, 
' Strew some flour on my foot.' 

The Miller thought, ' The old Wolf is going to take 
somebody in,' and refused. 

But the Wolf said, ' If you don't do it, I will eat you up.' 

So the Miller was frightened, and whitened his paws. 
People are like that, you know. 

Now the wretch went for the third time to the door, and 
knocked, and said — 

' Open the door, children. Your dear mother has come 
home, and has brought something for each of you out of the 

The Kids cried, ' Show us your feet first, that we may be 
sure you are our mother.' 

He put his paws on the window sill, and when they saAV 
that they were white, they believed all he said, and opened 
the door, 

Alas ! It was the Wolf who walked in. They were 
terrified, and tried to hide themselves. One ran under the 
table, the second jumped into bed, the third into the oven, 
the fourth ran into the kitchen, the fifth got into the cupboard, 
the sixth into the wash-tub, and the seventh hid in the tall 
clock-case. But the Wolf found them all but one, and made 
short work of them. He swallowed one after the other, 
except the youngest one in the clock-case, whom he did not 
find. When he had satisfied his appetite, he took himself off, 
and lay down in a meadow outside, where he soon fell asleep. 

Not long after the old Nanny-goat came back from the 
woods. Oh ! what a terrible sight met her eyes ! The house 
door was wide open, table, chairs, and benches were over- 
turned, the washing bowl was smashed to atoms, the covers 
and pillows torn from the bed. She searched all over the 
house for her children, but nowhere were they to be found. 
She called them by name, one by one, but no one answered. 



At last, when she came to the youngest, a tiny voice 
cried : 

' I am here, dear mother, hidden in the clock-case.' 

She brought him out, and he told her that the Wolf had 
come and devoured all the others. 

You may imagine how she wept over her children. 

At last, in her grief, she went out, and the youngest Kid 
ran by her side. WHiien they went into the meadow, there 
lay the Wolf under a tree, making the branches shake with his 
snores. They examined him from every side, and they could 
plainly see movements within his distended body. 

' Ah, heavens ! ' thought the Goat, ' is it jDOSsible that my 
poor children whom he ate for his supper, should be still alive ? ' 

She sent the Kid running to the house to fetch scissors, 
needles, and thread. Then she cut a hole in the monster's 
side, and, hardly had she begun, when a Kid popped out its 
head, and as soon as the hole was big enough, all six jiimped 
out, one after the other, all alive, and without having suffered 
the least injury, for, in his greed, the monster had swallowed 
them whole. You may imagine the mother's joy. She 
hugged them, and skipped about like a tailor on his wedding 
day. At last she said : 

' Go and fetch some big stones, children, and we will fill 
up the brute's body while he is asleep.' 

Then the seven Kids brought a lot of stones, as fast as they 
could carry them, and stuffed the Wolf with them till he could 
hold no more. The old mother quickly sewed him up, without 
his having noticed anything, or even moved. 

At last, when the Wolf had had his sleep out, he got up, 
and, as the stones made him feel very thirsty, he wanted to 
go to a spring to drink. But as soon as he moved the stones 
began to roll about and rattle inside him. Then he cried — 

' What's the rumbling and tuniblinj^ 
Tliat sets my stomach grumbling? 
I thought 'twas six Kids, flesh and bones. 
Now find it 's nought but rolling stones.' 


When he reached the spring, and stooped over the water 
to drink, the heavy stones dragged him down, and he was 
drowned miserably. 

When the seven Kids saw what had happened, they came 
running up, and cried aloud — ' The Wolf is dead, the Wolf 
is dead ! ' and they and their mother capered and danced, 
round the spring in their joy. 


The Queen Bee 

ONCE upon a time two Princes started off in search of 
adventure, and, falling into a wild, free mode of life, 
did not come home again. 

The third Brother, who was called the Blockhead, set out 
to look for the other two. But when at last he found them, 
they mocked him for thinking of making his way in the world 
with his simplicity, while they, who were so much cleverer, 
could not get on. 

They all three went on together till they came to an ant- 
heap. The two elder Princes wanted to disturb it, to see how 
the little ants crept away, carrying their eggs. 

But the Blockhead said : ' Leave the little creatures alone ; 
I will not allow you to disturb them.' 

Then they went on further till they came to a lake, in which 
a great many ducks were swimming about. The two wanted 
to catch and roast a pair. 

But the Blockhead would not allow it, and said : ' Leave 
the creatures alone. You shall not kill them.' 

At last they came to a bee's nest, containing such a 
quantity of honey that it flowed round the trunk of the tree. 

The two Princes wanted to set fire to the tree, and suffocate 
the bees, so as to remove the honey. 

But the Blockhead stopped them again, and said : ' Leave 
the creatures alone. I will not let you burn them.' 

At last the three Brothers came to a castle, where the 
stables were full of stone horses, but not a soul was to be seen. 
They went through all the rooms till they came to a door quite 
at the end, fastened with three bolts. In the middle of the 
door was a lattice, through which one could see into the room. 


There they saw a httle grey Man sitting at a table. They 
called to him once — twice — but he did not hear them. Finally, 
when they had called him the third time, he stood up and 
opened the door, and came out. He said not a word, but led 
them to a richly-spread table, and when they had eaten and 
drunk, he took thein each to a bedroom. 

The next morning the little grey Man came to the eldest 
Prince, beckoned, and led him to a stone tablet whereon were 
inscribed three tasks by means of which the castle should be 
freed from enchantment. 

This was the first task : In the wood, under the moss, lay 
the Princesses' pearls, a thousand in number. These had all 
to be found, and if at sunset a single one were missing, the 
seeker was turned to stone. 

The eldest went away, and searched all day, but when 
evening came, he had only found the first hundred, and it 
happened as the inscription foretold. He was turned to stone. 

The next day the second Brother undertook the quest ; 
but he fared no better than the first, for he only found two 
hundred pearls, and he too was turned to stone. 

At last came the Blockhead's turn ; he searched in the 
moss, but the pearls were hard to find, and he got on but slowly. 

Then he sat down on a rock and cried, and as he was sitting 
there, the Ant-King, whose life he had saved, came up with five 
thousand ants, and it was not long before the little creatures 
had found all the pearls and laid them in a heap. 

Now the second task was to get the key of the Princesses' 
room out of the lake. 

AVhen the Blockhead came to the lake, the ducks he had 
once saved, swam up, dived, and brought up the key from the 

But the third task was the hardest. The Prince had to 
find out which was the youngest and most charming of the 
Princesses while they were asleep. 

They were exactly alike, and could not be distinguished in 
any way, except that before going to sleep each had eaten a 



different kind of sweet. The eldest a piece of sugar, the 
second a httle syrup, and the third a spoonful of honey. 

Then the Queen of the Bees, whom the Blockhead had 
saved from burning, came and tried the lips of all three. 
Finally, she settled on the mouth of the one who had eaten the 
honey, and so the Prince recognised the right one. 

Then the charm was broken and everything in the castle 
was set free, and those who had been turned to stone took 
human form again. 

And the Blockhead married the youngest and sweetest 
Princess, and became King after her father's death, while his 
two Brothers married the other sisters. 

The Three Sleeping Princesses. 


The Elves and the Shoemaker 

THERE was once a Shoemaker who, through no fault of 
his own, had become so poor that at last he had only 
leather enough left for one pair of shoes. At evening 
he cut out the shoes which he intended to begin upon the next 
morning, and since he had a good conscience, he lay down 
quietly, said his prayers, and fell asleep. 

In the morning when he had said his prayers, and was 
preparing to sit down to work, he found the pair of shoes 
standing finished on his table. He was amazed, and could not 
understand it in the least. 

He took the shoes in his hand to examine them more closely. 
They were so neatly sewn that not a stitch was out of place, 
and were as good as the work of a master-hand. 

Soon after a purchaser came in, and as he was much pleased 
with the shoes, he paid more than the ordinary price for them, 
so that the Shoemaker was able to buy leather for two pairs of 
shoes with the money. 

He cut them out in the evening, and next day, with fresh 
coiirage, was about to go to work ; but he had no need to, for 
when he got up, the shoes were finished, and buyers were not 
lacking. These gave him so much money that he was able to 
buy leather for four pairs of shoes. 

Early next morning he found the four pairs finished, and so 
it went on ; what he cut out at evening was finished in the 
morning, so that he was soon again in comfortable circum- 
stances, and became a well-to-do man. 

Now it happened one evening, not long before Christmas, 
when he had cut out some shoes as usual, that he said to his 
o 209 


Wife : ' How would it be if we were to sit up to-night to see 
who it is that lends us such a helping hand ? ' 

The Wife agreed, lighted a candle, and they hid themselves 
in the corner of the room behind the clothes which were 
hanging there. 

At midnight came two little naked men who sat down at 
the Shoemaker's table, took up the cut-out work, and began 
with their tiny fingers to stitch, sew, and hammer so neatly 
and quickly, that the Shoemaker could not believe his eyes. 
They did not stop till everything was quite finished, and stood 
complete on the table ; then they ran swiftly away. 

The next day the Wife said : ' The little men have made us 
rich, and we ought to show our gratitude. They were running 
about with nothing on, and must freeze with cold. Now I will 
make them little shirts, coats, waistcoats, and hose, and will 
even knit them a pair of stockings, and you shall make them 
each a pair of shoes.' 

The Husband agreed, and at evening, when they had every- 
thing ready, they laid out the presents on the table, and hid 
themselves to see how the little men would behave. 

At midnight they came skipping in, and were about to set 
to work ; but, instead of the leather ready cut but, they found 
the charming little clothes. 

At first they were surj^rised, then excessively delighted. 
With the greatest speed they put on and smoothed down the 
pretty clothes, singing : 

' Now we Ve boys so fine and neat, 
Why cobble more for other's feet ? ' 

Then they hopped and danced about, and leapt over chairs 
and tables and out at the door. Henceforward, they came 
back no more, but the Shoemaker fared well as long as he lived, 
and had good luck in all his undertakings. 


The Wolf and the Man 

A FOX was one day talking to a Wolf about the strength 
of man. 

' No animals,' he said, ' could withstand man, and 
they were obliged to use cunning to hold their own against 

The Wolf answered, ' If ever I happened to see a man, I 
should attack him all the same.' 

' Well, I can help you to that,' said the Fox. ' Come to me 
early to-morrow, and I will show you one ! ' 

The Wolf was early astir, and the Fox took him out to a 
road in the forest, traversed daily by a Huntsman. 

First came an old discharged soldier. 

' Is that a Man ? ' asked the Wolf. 

' No,' answered the Fox. ' He has been a Man.' 

After that, a little boy appeared on his way to school. 

' Is that a Man ? ' 

' No ; he is going to be a Man.' 

At last the Huntsman made his appearance, his gun on his 
back, and his hunting-knife at his side. The Fox said to the 

' Look ! There comes a Man. You may attack him, but I 
will make off to my hole ! ' 

The Wolf set on the Man, who said to himself when he saw 
him, ' What a pity my gun isn't loaded with ball,' and fired a 
charge of shot in the Wolf's face. The Wolf made a wry face, 
but he was not to be so easily frightened, and attacked him 
again. Then the Huntsman gave him the second charge. 
The Wolf swallowed the pain, and rushed at the Huntsman ; 
but he drew his bright hunting-knife, and hit out right and left 



with it, so that, streaming with blood, the Wolf ran back to the 

' Well, brother Wolf,' said the Fox, ' and how did you get on 
with the Man ? ' 

' Alas ! ' said the Wolf. ' I never thought the strength of 
man would be what it is. First, he took a stick from his 
shoulder, and blew into it, and something flew into my face, 
which tickled frightfully. Then he blew into it again, and it 
flew into my eyps and nose like lightning and hail. Then he 
drew a shining rib out of his body, and struck at me with it till 
I was more dead than alive.' 

' Now, you see,' said the Fox, ' what a braggart you are. 
You throw your hatchet so far that you can't get it back again.' 


The Turnip 

THERE were once two Brothers who both served as 
soldiers, and one was rich and the other was poor. 
The poor one, wishing to better himself, discarded 
his uniform and worked like a Peasant. Then he dug and hoed 
his little field and sowed Turnips. 

The seed came up, and one of the Turnips grew to such an 
enormous size, that it seemed as though it would never have 
finished ; and it might have been called the Queen of Turnips, 
for its like had never been seen before, nor ever will be again. 

At last it was so big that it filled a cart, and needed two 
oxen to draw it ; and the Peasant could not imagine what 
would come of it, whether it would bring good luck or bad. 

At last he said to himself : ' If I sell it what shall I gain ? 
I might eat it, but the little Turnips would do as well for that. 
The best thing will be to take it to the King and offer it to 

So he loaded a cart, harnessed two oxen, and took it to the 
Court to present it to the King. 

' What is that extraordinary object ? ' said the King. ' I 
have seen many marvels in my time, but never anything so 
remarkable as this. What seed did it spring from ? Perhaps 
it belongs to you, especially if you are a child of good luck ? ' 

' Oh no,' said the Peasant, ' lucky I certainly am not, for I 
am a poor Soldier, who, since he could keep himself no longer, 
has hung up his uniform on a nail, and tills the earth. Further, 
I have a Brother who is rich, and well known to you, my Lord 
King ; but I, because I have nothing, am forgotten by all the 

Then the King pitied him and said : ' Your poverty shall 



be at an end, and you shall receive such rich presents from me 
that your wealth will equal that of your Brother.' 

Thereupon he gave him plenty of gold, lands, fields, and 
flocks, and enriched him with precious stones, so that the other 
Brother's wealth could not be compared with his. 

Now, when the rich Brother heard what his Brother with 
the single Turnip had acquired, he envied him, and pondered 
how he might gain a like treasure for himself. 

But he wanted to show himself much cleverer, so he took 

So the rich Brother had to put his Brother's Turnip into 
a cart, and have it taken home. 

gold and horses and presented them to the King, feeling certain 
that he would give him a far handsomer gift ; for if his Brother 
got so much for a Turnip, what would not he get for his 
beautiful things. 

The King took the present, saying that he could give him in 
return nothing rarer or better than the huge Turnip. 

So the rich Brother had to put his Brother's Turnip into a 
cart, and have it taken home. 

Then he did not know on whom to expend his wrath and 
bitterness, till evil thoughts came to him, and he determined 
to kill his Brother. 

He hired Murderers, who were to place themselves in 


ambush, and then he went to his Brother, and said : ' Dear 
Brother, I know of a secret treasure which we will carry off 
and di\dde.' 

The other agreed, and went without suspicion. But when 
they got out, the Murderers sprang upon him, bound him, and 
prepared to hang him on a tree. 

^Miile they were about it, they heard in the distance the 
clatter of hoofs and the sound of singing, which frightened them 
so much that they stuck their Prisoner into a sack, head fore- 
most, slung it up on a branch, and took to flight. 

But the Man up in the sack worked a hole in it, and stuck 
his head through. 

Now the traveller turned out to be nothing more than a 
Student, a young fellow who was riding through the wood, 
singing cheerily. 

^^^len the Man up in the sack saw some one down below, 
he called out : ' Good-day. You come in the nick of time.' 

The Student looked all round, but could not make out 
where the voice came from. 

At last he said : ' Who calls ? ' 

A voice from above answered : ' Raise your eyes, I am 
sitting up here in the Sack of "Wisdom, and in a short time I 
have learnt so much that the ■ndsdom of the schools is as air 
compared to mine. Soon I shall be quite perfect, and shall 
come dovm and be the wisest of all mankind. I understand 
the stars and signs of the heavens, the blowing of the ■ndnds, 
the sand of the sea, the healing of sickness, the power of herbs, 
birds, and stones. If you were once inside, you would feel 
what wonders flow from the Sack of Knowledge.' 

^Mien the Student heard this he was astonished, and said : 
' Blessed be the hour when I met you, if only I too might get 
into the sack for a little.' 

The other answered, as though unwilHngly : ' I will let you 
in for a little while for pa\Tnent and kind words, but you must 
wait an hour, as there is something rather difficult which I 
must learn first.' 



But when the Student had waited a little, he grew impatient 
and entreated permission to get in, so great was his thirst for 
knowledge. Then the Man in the sack pretended to give in, 
and said : ' In order that I may get out of the sack you must 
let it down, then you can get in.' 

So the Student let it down, undid the sack and released the 
Prisoner, and said : ' Now pull me up as fast as possible ' ; 
and he tried to get into the sack and stand upright in it. 

' Stop,' said the other. ' That won't do.' And he packed 
him in head first, tied it up, and slung up the Disciple of 
Wisdom, dangling him in the air, and said : ' How are you, my 
dear fellow ? You will soon feel wisdom coming upon you, 
and will have a most interesting experience. Sit still till you 
are wiser.' 

Thereupon he mounted the Student's horse, and rode off, 
but sent some one in an hour to let him down again. 


Clever Hans 

WHERE are you going, Hans ? ' asked his Mother. 
' To see Grettel,' answered Hans. 
' Behave well, Hans ! ' 

' All right. Mother. Good-bye.' 

' Good-bye, Hans.' 

Hans comes to Grettel. 

' Good morning, Grettel.' 

' Good morning, Hans. What have you brought me ? ' 

' I 've not brought you anything. I want a present.' 

Grettel gives him a needle. Hans takes the needle, and 
sticks it in a load of hay, and walks home behind the cart, 

' Good evening. Mother.' 

' Good evening, Hans. ^Vhere have you been ? ' 

' I 've been to Grettel's.' 

' \\'liat did you give her ? ' 

' I gave her nothing. But she made me a present.' 

' What did she give you ? ' 

' She gave me a needle.' 

' What did you do with it ? ' 

' Stuck it in the hay-cart.' 

' That was stupid, Hans. You should have stuck it in your 

' Never mind, Mother ; I '11 do better next time.' 

' Where are you going, Hans ? ' 

' To see Grettel, Mother.' 

' Behave well.' 

' All right, Mother. Good-bye.' 

' Good-bye, Hans.' 

Hans comes to Grettel. 



' Good morning, Grettel.' 

' Good morning, Hans. \Miat have you brought me ? ' 

' I 've brought nothing. But I want something.' 

Grettel gives him a knife. 

' Good-bye, Grettel.' 

' Good-bye, Hans.' 

Hans takes the knife, and sticks it in his sleeve, and goes 

' Good evening, Mother.' 

' Good evening, Hans, ^^^lere have you been ?' 

' Been to see Grettel.' 

' \Miat did you give her ? ' 

' I gave her nothing. But she gave me something.' 

' \Miat did she give you ? ' 

' She gave me a knife.' 

' ^Vhere is the knife, Hans ? ' 

' I stuck it in my sleeve.' 

' That 's a stupid place, Hans. You should have put it in 
your pocket.' 

' Never mind, [Mother ; I '11 do better next time.' 

' Where are you going, Hans ? ' 

' To see Grettel, Mother.' 

' Behave well, then.' 

' All right. Mother. Good-bye.' 

' Good-bye, Hans." 

Hans comes to Grettel. 

' Good morning, Grettel.' 

' Good morning, Hans. Have you brought me anything 
nice ? ' 

' I 've brought nothing. What have you got for me ? ' 

Grettel gives him a young kid. 

' Good-bye, Grettel.' 

' Good-bye, Hans.' 

Hans takes the kid, ties its legs together, and puts it in 
his pocket. 

\Mien he got home, it was suffocated. 


' Good evening, Mother.' 

' Good evening, Hans. Where have you been ? ' 

' Been to see Grettel, Mother.' 

' \^Tiat did you give her ? ' 

' I gave her nothing. But I brought away something.' 

' What did Grettel give you ? ' 

' She gave me a young kid.' 

' ^^^lat did you do with the kid ? ' 

' Put it in my pocket, Mother.' 

' That was very stupid. You should have led it by a rope.' 

' Never mind. Mother ; I '11 manage better next time.' 

' ^Vhere are you going, Hans ? ' 

' To see Grettel, Mother.' 

' Manage well, then.' 

' All right, Mother. Good-bye.' 

' Good-bye, Hans.' 

Hans comes to Grettel. 

' Good morning, Grettel.' 

' Good morning, Hans. ^Vhat have you brought me ? ' 

' I 've brought you nothing. ^\Tiat have you got for 

Grettel gives him a piece of bacon. 

' Good-bye, Grettel.' 

' Good-bye, Hans.' 

Hans takes the bacon, ties a rope round it, and drags it 
along behind him. The dogs come after him, and eat it up. 
When he got home he had the rope in his hand, but there was 
nothing at the end of it. 

' Good evening, Mother.' 

' Good evening, Hans. Where have you been ? ' 

' To see Grettel, Mother.' 

' What did you take her ? ' 

' I took nothing. But I brought something away.' 

' What did she give you ? ' 

' She gave me a piece of bacon.' 

' What did you do with the bacon, Hans ? ' 



' I tied it to a rope, and dragged it home. 
But the dogs ate it.' 

' That was a stupid business, Hans. You 
should have carried it on your head.' 

' Never mind. Mother ; I '11 do better 
next time.' 

' Where are you going, Hans ? ' 
' To see Grettel, Mother.' 
' Behave properly, then.' 

' All right. Mother. 

' Good-bye, Hans.' 
Hans comes to 

' Good morning, Grettel.' 

' Good morning, Hans. What have you brought me ? ' 
' I 've brought nothing. What have you got for me ? ' 
Grettel gives Hans a calf. 
' Good-bye, Grettel.' 
' Good-bye, Hans.' 

Hans takes the calf, and puts it on his head. It kicks his 

' Good evening, Mother.' 

' Good evening, Hans. Where have you been ? ' 


' Been to see Grettel, Mother.' 

' What did you take her ? ' 

' I took her nothing, Mother. She gave me something.' 

' What did she give you, Hans ? ' 

' She gave me a calf. Mother.' 

' What did you do with the calf ? ' 

' Put it on my head, Mother, and it kicked my face.' 

' That was very stupid, Hans. You should have led it by 
a rope, and put it in the cow-stall.' 

' Never mind. Mother ; I '11 do better next time.' 

' Where are you going, Hans ? ' 

' To see Grettel, Mother.' 

' Mind how you behave, 

'AH right, Mother. Good- 

Hans goes to Grettel. 

When he got home he had the rope in his hand, but there was nothinjj at the end of it. 

' Good morning, Grettel.' 

' Good morning, Hans. What have you brought me ? * 



' I 've brought you nothing. I want to take away some- 

' I '11 go with you myself, Hans.' 

Hans ties Grettel to a rope, and leads her home, where he 
puts her in a stall, and ties her up. Then he goes into the house 
to his Mother. 

' Good evening, Mother.' 

' Good evening, Hans. Where have you been ? ' 

' To see Grettel, Mother.' 

' What did you take her ? ' 

' I took nothing.' 

' ^Yhat did Grettel give you ? ' 

' She gave me nothing. She came with me.' 

' Where did you leave Grettel ? ' 

' Tied up in the stable with a rope.' 

' That was stupid. You should have cast sheep's eyes at 

' Never mind ; I '11 do better next time.' 

Hans went into the stable, plucked the eyes~out of the 
cows and calves, and threw them in Grettel's face. 

Grettel got angry, broke the rope, and ran away. 

Yet she became Hans' wife. 


The Three Languao^es 

THERE once lived in Switzerland an old Count, who had 
an only son ; but he was very stupid, and could learn 
nothing. So his father said to him : ' Listen to me, 
my son. I can get nothing into your head, try as hard as I 
may. You must go away from here, and I will hand you over 
to a renowned Professor for a whole year.' At the end of the 
year he came home again, and his father asked : ' Now, my 
son, what have you learnt ? ' 

' Father, I have learnt the language of dogs.' 
' Mercy on us ! ' cried his father, ' is that all you have 
learnt ? I will send you away again to another Professor in a 
different town.' The youth was taken there, and remained 
with this Professor also for another year. When he came back 
his father asked him again : ' iMy son, what have you learnt ? ' 
He answered : ' I have learnt bird language.' 
Then the father flew into a rage, and said : ' Oh, you hope- 
less creature, have you been spending all this precious time and 
learnt nothing ? Aren't you ashamed to come into my 
presence ? I will send you to a third Professor, but if you 
learn nothing this time, I won't be your father any longer.' 

The son stopped with the third Professor in the same way 

for a whole year, and when he came home again and his father 

asked, ' My son, what have you learnt ? ' he answered — 

' My dear father, this year I have learnt frog language.' 

Thereupon his father flew into a fearful passion, and said : 

' This creature is my son no longer. I turn him out of the house 

and command you to lead him into the forest and take his life.' 

They led hini forth, but when they were about to kill him, 

for pity's sake they could not do it, and let him go. Then they 


On tlie way })e passed a swamp, in whicli a nunilier of Frogs were croaking. 


cut out the eyes and tongue of a Fawn, in order that they might 
take back proofs to the old Count. 

The youth wandered about, and at length came to a castle, 
where he begged a night's lodging. 

' Very well,' said the Lord of the castle. ' If you like to 
pass the night down there in the old tower, you may ; but I 
warn you that it will be at the risk of your life, for it is full of 
savage dogs. They bark and howl without ceasing, and at 
certain hours they must have a man thrown to them, and they 
devour him at once.' 

The whole neighbourhood was distressed by the scourge, 
but no one could do anything to remedy it. But the youth 
was not a bit afraid, and said : ' Just let me go down to these 
barking dogs, and give me something that I can throw to them ; 
they won't do me any harm.' 

As he would not have anything else, they gave him some 
food for the savage dogs, and took him down to the tower. 

The dogs did not bark at him when he entered, but ran 
round him wagging their tails in a most friendly manner, ate 
the food he gave them, and did not so much as touch a hair of 
his head. 

The next morning, to the surprise of every one, he made his 
appearance again, and said to the Lord of the castle, ' The Dogs 
have revealed to me in their own language why they live there 
and bring mischief to the country. They are enchanted, and 
obliged to guard a great treasure which is hidden under the 
tower, and will get no rest till it has been dug up ; and how 
that has to be done I have also learnt from them.' 

Every one who heard this was dehghted, and the Lord of the 
castle said he would adopt him as a son if he accomplished the 
task successfully. He went down to the tower again, and as he 
knew how to set to work he accomplished his task, and brought 
out a chest full of gold. The howling of the savage Dogs was 
from that time forward heard no more. They entirely dis- 
appeared, and the country was delivered from the scourge. 

After a time, he took it into his head to go to Rome. On 
p 225 


the way he passed a swamp, in which a number of Frogs were 
croaking. He hstened, and when he heard what they were 
saying he became quite pensive and sad. 

At last he reached Rome, at a moment when the Pope had 
just died, and there was great doubt among the Cardinals whom 
they ought to name as his successor. They agreed at last that 
the man to whom some divine miracle should be manifested 
ought to be chosen as Pope. Just as they had come to this 
decision, the young Count entered the church, and suddenly 
two snow-white doves flew down and alighted on his shoulders. 

The clergy recognised in this the sign from Heaven, and 
asked him on the spot whether he would be Pope. 

He was undecided, and knew not whether he was worthy of 
the post ; but the Doves told him that he might accept, and at 
last he said ' Yes.' 

Thereupon he was anointed and consecrated, and so was 
fulfilled what he had heard from the Frogs on the way, which 
had disturbed him so much — namely, that he should become 

Then he had to chant mass, and did not know one word of it. 
But the two Doves sat upon his shoulders and whispered it 
to him. 


The Fox and the Cat 

IT happened once that the Cat met Mr. Fox in the wood, and 
because she thought : ' He is clever and experienced in 
all the ways of the world,' she addressed him in a friendly 

' Good morning, dear Mr. Fox ! how are you and how do 
you get along in these hard times ? ' 

The Fox, full of pride, 
looked at the Cat from 
head to foot for some time 
hardly knowing whether he 
would deign to answer or 
not. At last he said — 

' Oh, you poor whisker- 
wiper, you piebald fool, you 
starveling mouse-hunter ! 
what has come into your 
head ? How dare you ask 
me how I am getting on ? 
What sort of education 
have you had ? How many 
arts are you master of ? ' 

' Only one,' said the 
Cat, meekly. 

' And what might that 
one be ? ' asked the Fox. 

' When the hounds run after me, I can jump into a tree and 
save myself.' 

' Is that all ? ' said the Fox. ' I am master of a hundred 
arts, and I have a sack full of cunning tricks in addition. But 

The C at crept stealthily up to the 
topmost branch. 


I pity you. Come with me, and I will teach you how to escape 
the hounds.' 

Just then, a huntsman came along with fom" hounds. The 
Cat sprang trembling into a tree, and crept stealthily up to the 
topmost branch, where she was entirely hidden by twigs and 

' Open your sack, Mr. Fox ! open your sack ! ' cried the 
Cat ; but the hounds had gripped him, and held him fast. 

' O Mr. Fox ! ' cried the Cat, ' you with your hundred 
arts, and your sack full of tricks, are caught, while I, with my 
one, am safe. Had you been able to climb up here, you would 
not have lost your life.' 


The Four Clever Brothers 

THERE was once a poor man who had iouv sons, and 
when they were grown up, he said to them : ' Dear 
children, you must go out into the world now, for I 
have nothing to give you. You must each learn a trade and 
make your own way in the world.' 

So the four Brothers took their sticks in their hands, bid 
their father good-bye, and passed out of the town gate. 

When they had walked some distance, they came to four 
cross roads, which led into four different districts. Then the 
eldest one said : ' We must part here, but this day four years, 
we will meet here again, having in the meantime done our 
best to make our fortunes.' 

Then each one went his own way. The eldest met an old 
man, who asked him where he came from, and what he was 
going to do. 

' I want to learn a trade,' he answered. 

Then the Man said : ' Come with me and learn to be n 

' No,' answered he, ' that is no longer considered an honest 
trade ; and the end of that song would be that I should swing 
as the clapper in a bell.' 

' Oh,' said the Man, ' you need not be afraid of the gallows. 
I will only teach you how to take things no one else wants, or 
knows how to get hold of, and where no one can find you out.' 

So he allowed himself to be persuaded, and under the 
Man's instructions he became such an expert thief that nothing 
was safe from him which he had once made up his mind to have. 

The second Brother met a Man who put the same question 
to him, as to what he was going to do in the world. 



' I don't know yet,' he answered. 

' Then come with me and be a Star-gazer. It is the grandest 
thing in the world, nothing is hidden from you.' 

He was pleased with the idea, and became such a clever 
Star-gazer, that when he had learnt everything and wanted 
to go away, his master gave him a telescope, and said — 

' With this you can see everything that happens in the sky 
and on earth, and nothing can remain hidden from you.' 

The third Brother was taken in hand by a Huntsman, who 
taught him everything connected with sport so well, that he 
became a first-rate Huntsman. 

On his departure his master presented him with a gun, and 
said : ' This gun will never miss : whatever you aim at you will 
hit without fail.' 

The youngest Brother also met a Man who asked him what 
he was going to do. 

' Wouldn't you Uke to be a Tailor ? ' he asked. 

' I don't know about that,' said the young man. ' I don't 
much fancy sitting cross-legged from morning till night, and 
everlastingly pulling a needle in and out, and pushing a flat 

' Dear, dear ! ' said the Man, ' what are you talking about ? 
If you come to me you will learn quite a different sort of 
tailoring. It is a most pleasant and agreeable trade, not to say 
most honourable.' 

So he allowed himself to be talked over, and went with the 
Man, who taught him his trade thoroughly. 

On his departure, he gave him a needle, and said : ' With 
this needle you will be able to stitch anything together, be it as 
soft as an egg, or as hard as steel ; and it will become like a 
whole piece of stuff with no seam visible.' 

When the four years, which the Brothers had agreed upon, 
had passed, they met at the cross-roads. They embraced one 
another and hurried home to their Father. 

' Well ! ' said he, quite pleased to see them, ' has the wind 
wafted you back to me again ? ' 


They told him all that had happened to them, and that 
each had mastered a trade. They were sitting in front of the 
house under a big tree, and their Father said — 

' Now, I will put you to the test, and see what you can do.' 

Then "he looked up and said to his second son — - 

' There is a chaffinch's nest in the topmost branch of this 
tree ; tell me how many eggs there are in it ? ' 

The Star-gazer took his glass and said : ' There are five.' 

His Father said to the eldest : ' Bring the eggs down without 
disturbing the bird sitting on them.' 

The cunning Thief climbed up and took the five eggs from 
under the bird so cleverly that it never noticed they were gone, 
and he gave them to his Father. His Father took them, and 
put them one on each corner of the table, and one in the middle, 
and said to the Sportsman — 

' You must shoot the five eggs through the middle at one 

The Sportsman levelled his gun, and divided each egg in 
half at one shot, as his Father desired. He certainly must have 
had some of the powder which shoots round the corner. 

' Now it is your turn,' said his Father to the fourth son. 
' You will sew the eggs together again, the shells and the young 
birds inside them ; and you will do it in such a manner that 
they will be none the worse for the shot.' 

The Tailor produced his needle, and stitched away as his 
Father ordered. When he had finished, the Thief had to climb 
up the tree again, and put the eggs back vmder the bird without 
her noticing it. The bird spread herself over the eggs, and a 
few days later the fledglings crept out of the shell, and they all 
had a red line round their throats where the Tailor had sewn 
them together. 

' Yes,' said the old man to his sons ; ' I can certainly praise 
your skill. You have learnt something worth knowing, and 
made the most of your time. I don't know which of you to 
give the palm to. I only hope you may soon have a chance of 
showing your skill so that it may be settled.' 



Not long after this there was a great alarm raised in the 
country : the King's only daughter had been carried off by a 
Dragon. The King sorrowed for her day and night, and 
proclaimed that whoever brought her back should marry her. 

The four Brothers said to one another : ' This would be an 
opportunity for us to prove what we can do.' And they 
decided to go out together to deliver the Princess. 

' I shall soon know where she is,' said the Star-gazer, as he 
looked through his telescope ; and then he said — 

' I see her already. She is a long way from here, she is 
sitting on a rock in the middle of the sea, and the Dragon is 
near, watching her.' 

Then he went to the King and asked for a ship for himself 
and his Brothers to cross the sea in search of the rock. 

They found the Princess still on the rock, but the Dragon 
was asleep with his head on her lap. 

The Sportsman said : ' I dare not shoot. I should kill the 
beautiful maiden.' 

' Then I will try my luck,' said the Thief, and he stole her 
away from beneath the Dragon. He did it so gently and 
skilfully, that the monster never discovered it, but went 
snoring on. 

Full of joy, they hurried away with her to the ship, and 
steered for the open sea. But the Dragon on waking had 
inissed the Princess, and now came after them through the air, 
foaming with rage. 

Just as he was hovering over the ship and about to drop on 
them, the Sportsman took aim with his gun and shot him 
through the heart. The monster fell down dead, but he was 
so huge, that in falling, he dragged the whole ship down with 
him. They managed to seize a few boards, on which they kept 
themselves afloat. 

They were now in great straits, but the Tailor, not to be 

outdone, produced his wonderful needle, and put some great 

stitches into the boards, seated himself on them, and collected 

all the floating bits of the ship. Then he stitched them all 


They fouiul the Princess still on the rock, but the Dragon was asleep 
with his liead on her lap. 


together so cleverly, that in a very short time the ship was 
seaworthy again, and they sailed happily home. 

The King was overjoyed when he saw his daughter again, 
and he said to the four Brothers : ' One of you shall marry her, 
but which one, you must decide among yourselves.' 

An excited discussion then took place among them, for 
each one made a claim. 

The Star-gazer said : ' Had I not discovered the Princess, 
all your arts would have been in vain, therefore she is mine ! ' 

The Thief said : ' What would have been the good of 
discovering her if I had not taken her from under the Dragon ? 
So she is mine,' 

The Sportsman said : ' You, as well as the Princess, would 
have been destroyed by the monster if my shot had not hit him. 
So she is mine.' 

The Tailor said : ' And if I had not sewn the ship together 
with my skill, you would all have been drowned miserably. 
Therefore she is mine,' 

The King said : ' Each of you has an equal right ; but, as 
you can't all have her, none of you shall have her. I will give 
every one of you half a kingdom as a reward.' 

The Brothers were quite satisfied with this decision, and 
they said : ' It is better so than that we should quarrel over it.' 

So each of them received half a kingdom, and they lived 
happily with their Father for the rest of their days. 


The Lady and the Lion 

THERE was once a Man who had to take a long journey, 
and when he was saying good-bye to his daughters 
he asked what he should bring back to them. 

The eldest wanted pearls, the second diamonds, but the 
third said, ' Dear father, I should like a singing, soaring lark.' 

The father said, ' Very well, if I can manage it, you shall 
have it ' ; and he kissed all three and set off. He bought pearls 
and diamonds for the two eldest, but he had searched every- 
where in vain for the singing, soaring lark, and this worried him, 
for his youngest daughter was his favourite child. 

Once his way led through a wood, in the midst of which was 
a splendid castle ; near it stood a tree, and right up at the top 
he saw a lark singing and soaring. ' Ah,' he said, ' I have come 
across you in the nick of time ' ; and he called to his Servant to 
dismount and catch the little creature. But as he approached 
the tree a Lion sprang out from underneath, and shook him- 
self, and roared so that the leaves on the tree trembled. 

' Who dares to steal my lark ? ' said he. ' I will eat up the 
thief ! ' 

Then the Man said, ' I didn't know that the bird was yours. 
I will make up for my fault by paying a heavy ransom. Only 
spare my life.' 

But the Lion said, ' Nothing can save you, unless you 
promise to give me whatever first meets you when you get 
home. If you consent, I will give you your life and the bird 
into the bargain.' 

But the Man hesitated, and said, ' Suppose my youngest 
and favourite daughter were to come running to meet me when 
I go home ! ' 



But the Servant was afraid, and said, ' Your daughter will 
not necessarily be the first to come to meet you ; it might just 
as well be a cat or a dog.' 

So the Man let himself be persuaded, took the lark, and 
promised to the Lion for his own whatever first met him on his 
return home. When he reached home, and entered his house, 
the first person who met him was none other than his youngest 
daughter ; she came running up and kissed and caressed him, 
and when she saw that he had brought the singing, soaring lark, 
she was beside herself with joy. But her father could not 
rejoice ; he began to cry, and said, ' My dear child, it has cost 
me dear, for I have had to promise you to a Lion who will tear 
you in pieces when he has you in his power.' And he told her 
all that had happened, and begged her not to go, come what 

But she consoled him, saying, ' Dear father, what you have 
promised must be performed. I will go and will soon soften 
the Lion's heart, so that I shall come back safe and sound.' 
The next morning the way was shown to her, and she said 
good-bye and went confidently into the forest. 

Now the Lion was an enchanted Prince, who was a Lion by 
day, and all his followers were Lions too ; but by night they 
reassumed their human form. On her arrival she was kindly 
received, and conducted to the castle. When night fell, the 
Lion turned into a handsome man, and their wedding was 
celebrated with due magnificence. And they Uved happily 
together, sitting up at night and sleeping by day. One day he 
came to her and said, ' To-morrow there is a festival at your 
father's house to celebrate your eldest sister's wedding ; if you 
would like to go my Lions shall escort you.' 

She answered that she was very eager to see her father again, 
so she went away accompanied by the Lions. 

There was great rejoicing on her coming, for they all thought 
that she had been torn to pieces and had long been dead. 

But she told them what a handsome husband she had and 
how well she fared ; and she stayed with them as long as the 


wedding festivities lasted. Then she went back again into the 

When the second daughter married, and the youngest was 
again invited to the wedding, she said to the Lion, ' This time 
I will not go alone, you must come too.' 

But the Lion said it would be too dangerous, for if a gleam 
of light touched him he would be changed into a Dove and 
would have to fly about for seven years. 

' Ah,' said she, ' only go with me, and I will protect you and 
keep off every ray of light.' 

So they went away together, and took their little child with 
them too. They had a hall built with such thick walls that no 
ray could penetrate, and thither the Lion was to retire when 
the wedding torches were kindled. But the door was made of 
fresh wood which split and caused a little crack which no one 

Now the wedding Avas celebrated with great splendour. 
But when the procession came back from church with a large 
number of torches and lights, a ray of light no broader than a 
hair fell upon the Prince, and the minute this ray touched him 
he was changed ; and when his wife came in and looked for 
him, she saw nothing but a White Dove sitting there. The 
Dove said to her, ' For seven years I must fly about the world ; 
every seventh step I will let fall a drop of blood and a white 
feather which will show you the way, and if you will follow the 
track you can free me.' 

Thereupon the Dove flew out of the door, and she followed 
it, and every seventh step it let fall a drop of blood and a little 
white feather to show her the way. So she wandered about the 
world, and never rested till the seven years were nearly passed. 
Then she rejoiced, thinking that she would soon be free of her 
troubles ; but she was still far from release. One day as they 
were journeying on in the accustomed way, the feather and the 
drop of blood ceased falling, and when she looked up the Dove 
had vanished. 

' Man cannot help me,' she thought. So she climbed up to 



the Sun and said to it, ' You shine upon all the valleys and 
mountain peaks, have you not seen a White Dove flying by ? ' 

' No,' said the Sun, ' I have not seen one ; but I will give 
you a little casket. Open it when you are in dire need.' 

She thanked the Sun, and went on till night, when the 
Moon shone out. ' You shine all night,' she said, ' over field 
and forest, have you seen a White Dove flying by ? ' 

' No,' answered the Moon, ' I have seen none ; but here is an 
egg. Break it when you are in great need.' 

She thanked the Moon, and went on till the Night Wind 
blew upon her. ' You blow among all the trees and leaves, 
have not you seen a White Dove ? ' she asked. 

' No,' said the Night Wind, ' I have not seen one ; but I 
will ask the other three Winds, who may, perhaps, have seen it.' 

The East Wind and the West Wind came, but they had 
seen no Dove. Only the South Wind said, ' I have seen the 
White Dove. It has flown away to the Red Sea, where it has 
again become a Lion, since the seven years are over ; and the 
Lion is ever fighting with a Dragon who is an enchanted 

Then the Night Wind said, ' I will advise you. Go to the 
Red Sea, you will find tall reeds growing on the right bank ; 
count them, and cut down the eleventh, strike the Dragon 
with it and then the Lion will be able to master it, and both 
will regain human shape. Next, look round, and you will see 
the winged Griffin, who dwells by the Red Sea, leap upon its 
back with your beloved, and it will carry you across the sea. 
Here is a nut. Drop it when you come to mid-ocean ; it will 
open immediately and a tall nut-tree will grow up out of the 
water, on which the Griffin will settle. Could it not rest, it 
would not be strong enough to carry you across, and if you 
forget to drop the nut, it will let you fall into the sea.' 

Then she journeyed on, and found everything as the Night 

Wind had said. She counted the reeds by the sea and cut off 

the eleventh, struck the Dragon with it, and the Lion mastered 

it ; immediately both regained human form. But when the 



Princess who had been a Dragon was free from enchantment, 
she took the Prince in her arms, seated herself on the Griffin's 
back, and carried him off. And the poor wanderer, again 
forsaken, sat down and cried. At last she took courage and 
said to herself : ' Wherever the winds blow, I will go, and as 
long as cocks crow, I will search till I find him.' 

So she went on a long, long way, till she came to the castle 
where the Prince and Princess were living. There she heard 
that there was to be a festival to celebrate their wedding. 
Then she said to herself, ' Heaven help me,' and she opened the 
casket which the Sun had given her ; inside it was a dress, as 
brilliant as the Sun itself. She took it out, put it on, and went 
into the castle, where every one, including the Bride, looked at 
her with amazement. The dress pleased the Bride so much that 
she asked if it was to be bought. 

' Not with gold or goods,' she answered ; ' but with flesh 
and blood.' 

The Bride asked what she meant, and she answered, ' Let 
me speak with the Bridegroom in his chamber to-night.' 

The Bride refused. However, she wanted the dress so 
much that at last she consented ; but the Chamberlain was 
ordered to give the Prince a sleeping draught. 

At night, when the Prince was asleep, she was taken to his 
room. She sat down and said : ' For seven years I have 
followed you. I have been to the Sun, and the Moon, and the 
Four Winds to look for you. I have helped you against the 
Dragon, and will you now quite forget me ? ' 

But the Prince slept so sovmdly that he thought it was only 
the rustling of the wind among the pine-trees. When morning 
came she was taken away, and had to give up the dress ; and 
as it had not helped her she was very sad, and went out into a 
meadow and cried. As she was sitting there, she remembered 
the egg which the Moon had given her ; she broke it open, and 
out came a hen and twelve chickens, all of gold, who ran about 
chirping, and then crept back under their mother's wings. A 
prettier sight could not be seen. She got up and drove them 



about the meadow, till the Bride saw them from the window. 
The chickens pleased her so much that she asked if they were 
for sale. ' Not for gold and goods, but for flesh and blood. 
Let me speak with the Bridegroom in his chamber once more.' 

The Bride said ' Yes,' intending to deceive her as before ; 
but when the Prince went to his room he asked the Chamberlain 
what all the murmuring and rustling in the night meant. Then 
the Chamberlain told him how he had been ordered to give him 
a sleeping draught because a poor girl had been concealed in his 
room, and that night he was to do the same again. ' Pour out 
the drink, and put it near my bed,' said the Prince. At night 
she was brought in again, and when she began to relate her sad 
fortunes he recognised the voice of his dear wife, sprang up, and 
said, ' Now I am really free for the first time. All has been as 
a dream, for the foreign Princess cast a spell over me so that I 
was forced to forget you ; but heaven in a happy hour has 
taken away my blindness.' 

Then they both stole out of the castle, for they feared the 
Princess's father, because he was a sorcerer. They mounted 
the Griffin, who bore them over the Red Sea, and when they 
got to mid-ocean, she dropped the nut. On the spot a fine nut- 
tree sprang up, on which the bird rested ; then it took them 
home, where they found their child grown tall and beautiful, 
and they lived happily till the end. 


The Fox and the Horse 

A PEASANT once had a faithful Horse, but it had grown 
old and could no longer do its work. Its master 
grudged it food, and said : ' I can't use you any more, 
but I still feel kindly towards you, and if you show yourself 
strong enough to bring me a Lion I will keep you to the end of 
Q 241 


your days. But away with you now, out of my stable ' ; and 
he drove it out into the open country. 

The poor Horse was very sad, and went into the forest to 
get a Uttle shelter from the wind and weather. There he met 
a Fox, who said : ' Why do you hang your head, and wander 
about in this solitary fashion ? ' 

' Alas ! ' answered the Horse, ' avarice and honesty cannot 
live together. My master has forgotten all the service I 
have done him for these many years, and because I can no 
longer plough he will no longer feed me, and he has driven 
me away.' 

' Without any consideration ? ' asked the Fox. 

' Only the poor consolation of telling me that if I was strong 
enough to bring him a Lion he would keep me, but he knows 
well enough that the task is beyond me.' 

The Fox said : ' But I will help you. Just you lie down 
here, and stretch your legs out as if you were dead.' The 
Horse did as he was told, and the Fox went to the Lion's den, 
not far off, and said : ' There is a dead Horse out there. Come 
along with me, and you will have a rare meal.' The Lion went 
with him, and when they got up to the Horse, the Fox said : 
' You can't eat it in comfort here. I '11 tell you what. I will 
tie it to you, and you can drag it away to your den, and enjoy 
it at yovu: leisure.' 

The plan pleased the Lion, and he stood quite still, close to 
the Horse, so that the Fox should fasten them together. But 
the Fox tied the Lion's legs together with the Horse's tail, and 
twisted and knotted it so that it would be quite impossible for 
it to come undone. 

When he had finished his work he patted the Horse on the 
shoulder, and said : ' Pull, old Grey ! Pull ! ' 

Then the Horse sprang up, and dragged the Lion away 
behind him. The Lion in his rage roared, so that all the birds 
in the forest were terrified, and flew away. But the Horse let 
him roar, and never stopped till he stood before his master's 



When the master saw him he was dehghted, and said to him : 
' You shall stay with me, and have a good time as long as you 

And he fed him well till he died. 

^•l ~^<>^ "" °' c 

'' ':. o 

Then the Horse sprang up, and dragged the Lion away behind him. 


The Blue Light 

THERE was once a Soldier who had served his King well 
and faithfully for many years. But, on account of his 
many wounds, he could serve no longer. 

The King said : ' You can go home now. I have no 
further need for you. I can only pay those who serve me.' 

The Soldier did not know what to do for a living, and he 
went sadly away. 

He walked all day, till he reached a wood, where, in the 
distance, he saw a light. On approaching it, he foimd a house 
inhabited by a Witch. 

' Pray give me shelter for the night, and something to eat 
and drink,' he said, ' or I shall perish.' 

'Oh ho ! ' she said. ' Who gives anything to a runaway 
Soldier, I should like to know. But I will be merciful and 
take you in, if you will do something for me.' 

' What is it ? ' asked the Soldier. 

' I want you to dig up my garden to-morrow.' 

The Soldier agreed to this, and next day he worked as hard 
as he could, but he could not finish before evening. 

' I see,' said the Witch, ' that you can do no more this 
evening. I will keep you one night more, and to-morrow you 
shall split up some logs for firewood. 

The Soldier took the whole day over this task, and in the 
evening the Witch proposed that he should again stay another 

' You shall only have a very light task to-morrow,' she said. 
' There is an old, dry well behind my house. My light, which 
burns blue, and never goes out, has fallen into it, and I want 
you to bring it back.' 


Next day the Witch led him to the well, and let him down 
in a basket. 

He fomid the light, and made a sign to be pulled up ; but 
when he was near the top, the Witch put out her hand, and 
wanted to take it from him. 

But he, seeing her evil designs, said : ' No ; I will not give 
you the light till I have both feet safe on dry land again.' 

The Witch flew into a passion, let him fall back into the 
well again, and went away. 

The poor Soldier fell on to the damp ground without taking 
any harm, and the Blue Light burnt as brightly as ever. But 
what was the good of that ? He saw that he could not escape 

He sat for some time feeling very sad, then happening to 
put his hand into his pocket, he found his pipe still half full, 

' This will be my last pleasure,' he thought, as he hghted it 
at the Blue Light, and began to smoke. 

When the cloud of smoke he made cleared off a little, a tiny 
black Man appeared before him, and asked : ' What orders, 
Master ? ' 

' \^1iat do you mean ? ' the Soldier asked in amazement. 

' I must do anything that you command,' said the Little 

' Oh, if that is so,' said the Soldier, ' get me out of this well 

The Little Man took him by the hand, and led him through 
an underground passage ; but the Soldier did not forget to 
take the Blue Light with him. 

On the way he showed the Soldier all the treasures the 
Witch had amassed there, and he took as much gold as he 
could carry. 

\Mien they reached the top he said to the Little I\Ian : 
' Now go, bind the Witch and take her before the Judge.' 

Before long she came by riding at a fmious pace on a tom 
cat, and screaming at the top of her voice. 

The Little Man soon after appeared, and said : ' Everything 



is done as you commanded, and the Witch hangs on the gallows. 
What further orders have you, Master ? ' 

' Nothing at this moment,' answered the Soldier. ' You 
can go home ; only be at hand when I call.' 

' You only have to light your pipe at the Blue Light, and 
I will be there,' said the Little Man, and then he vanished. 

The Soldier went back to the town that he had left, and 
ordered some new clothes, then he went to the best inn and told 
the landlord to give him the best rooms. 

Before long tlie \\'it(h came liy ridinp at a furious pace ou a toni cat. 

When he had taken possession, he summoned the little 
black Man, and said : ' I served my King faithfully, but he 
sent me away to die of hunger. Now I will have my revenge.' 

' What do you wish me to do ? ' asked the Little Man. 

' Late at night, when the Princess is asleep in her bed, bring 
her, sleeping, to me, and I will make her do menial service for 

' It is an easy enough thing for me to do,' said the Little 


Man. ' But it will be a bad business for you if it comes 

As the clock struck twelve, the door sprang open, and the 
Little Man bore the Maiden in. 

' Ah ha ! There you are ! ' cried the Soldier. ' Set about 
your work at once. Fetch the broom and sweep the floor.' 

When she had finished, he sat down and ordered her to take 
his boots off. Then he threw them at her, and made her pick 
them up and clean them. She did everything he ordered 
without resistance, silently, and with half-shut eyes. 

At the first cock-crow, the Little Man carried her away to 
the royal palace, and put her back in bed. 

In the morning when the Princess got up, she went to her 
Father, and told him that she had had an extraordinary dream. 

' I was carried through the streets at lightning speed, and 
taken to the room of a Soldier, whom I had to serve as a maid, 
and do all kinds of menial work. I had to sweep the room, and 
clean his boots. Of course, it was only a dream, and yet I am 
as tired this morning as if I had done it all.' 

' The dream could not have been true,' said the King. 
' But I will give you a piece of advice. Fill your pocket with ' 
peas, and cut a little hole in it, then if you are carried away 
again, they will drop out and leave a track on the road.' 

When the King said this, the Little Man was standing by, 
invisible, and heard it all. 

At night, when he again carried off the Princess, the peas 
certainly fell out of her pocket, but they were useless to trace 
her by, for the cunning Little Man had scattered peas all over 
the streets. Again the Princess had to perform her menial 
duties till cock-crow. 

The next morning the King sent out people who were to 
find the track ; but they were unable to do so, because in every 
street the poor children were picking up peas, and saying : 
' It must have rained peas in the night.' 

' We must devise a better plan,' said the King. ' Keep 
your shoes on when you go to bed, and before you come away 



from the place where you are taken, liide one of them. I shall 
be sure to find it.' 

The Little Man heard this plan also ; and when the Soldier 
told him to bring the Princess again, he advised him to put it 
off. He said he knew no further means against their crafti- 
ness ; and if the shoe were found, it would be very dangerous 
for his master. 

' Do what I tell you,' answered the Soldier ; and for the 
third time the Princess was brought and made to work like a 
servant. But before leaving she hid one of her shoes under the 

Next morning the King ordered the whole town to be 
searched for his Daughter's shoe, and it was soon found in the 
Soldier's room. He himself, at the request of the Little Man, 
had gone outside the gates ; but before long he was seized and 
thrown into prison. 

In his flight he had forgotten his greatest treasures, the 
Blue Light and his gold. He had but one ducat in his 

As he stood at his window in the prison, loaded with chains, 
he saw one of his comrades going by. He tapped on the pane, 
and said : 

' Be so good as to fetch me the httle bundle I left behind at 
the inn, and I will give you a ducat.' 

His comrade hurried off and brought him the bundle. As 
soon as the Soldier was alone, he hghted his pipe and summoned 
the Little Man. 

' Don't be afraid,' he said to his Master. ' Go where they 
take you, and let what will happen, only take the Blue Light 
with you.' 

Next day a trial was held, and although the Soldier had 
done no harm, the Judge sentenced him to death. 

When he was led out to execution he asked a last favour of 
the King. 

' What is your wish ? ' asked the King. 

' That I may smoke a last pipe.' 


' You may smoke three,' answered the King. ' But don't 
imagine that I will therefore grant you your life.' 

Then the Soldier drew out his pipe, and lighted it at the 
Blue Light. 

As soon as a few rings of smoke arose, the Little Man ap- 
peared with a little cudgel in his hand, and said : ' What is my 
Master's command ? ' 

' Strike the false Judge and his minions to the ground, and 
do not spare the King either for all his cruelty to me.' 

Then the Little Man flew about like lightning, zig-zag, 
hither and thither, and whomever he touched with his cudgel 
fell to the ground, and dared not move. 

The King was now seized with alarm, and, begging on his 
knees that his life might be spared, he rendered up his kingdom 
and gave his Daughter to the Soldier to be his wife. 


The Raven 

THERE was once a Queen who had a little daughter still 
in arms. 

One day the child was naughty, and would not be 
quiet, whatever her mother might say. 

So she grew impatient, and as the Ravens were flying round 
the castle, she opened the window, and said : ' I wish you were 
a Raven, that you might fly away, and then I should have 

She had hardly said the words, when the child was changed 
into a Raven, and flew out of the window. 

She flew straight into a dark wood, and her parents did not 
know what had become of her. 

One day a Man was passing through this wood and heard 
the Raven calling. 

When he was near enough, the Raven said : ' I am a Prin- 
cess by birth, and I am bewitched, but you can deliver me from 
the spell.' 

' What must I do ? ' asked he. 

' Go further into the wood,' she said, ' and you will come to 
a house with an old Woman in it, who will offer you food and 
drink. But you must not take any. If you eat or drink what 
she offers you, you will fall into a deep sleep, and then you will 
never be able to deliver me. There is a great heap of tan in the 
garden behind the house ; you must stand on it and wait for 
me. I will come for three days in a coach drawn by four 
horses which, on the first day, will be white, on the second, 
chestnut, and on the last, black. If you are not awake, I shall 
not be delivered.' 


The Man promised to do everything that she asked. 

But the Raven said : ' Alas ! I know that you will not 
deliver me. You will take what the Woman offers you, and I 
shall never be freed from the spell.' 

He promised once more not to touch either the food or the 
drink. But when he reached the house, the Old Woman said 
to him : ' Poor man ! How tired you are. Come and refresh 
yourself. Eat and drink.' 

' No,' said the Man ; ' I will neither eat nor drink.' 

But she persisted, and said : ' Well, if you won't eat, take 
a sip out of the glass. One sip is nothing.' 

Then he yielded, and took a Httle sip. 

About two o'clock he went down into the garden, and stood 
on the tan-heap to wait for the Raven. All at once he became 
so tired that he could not keep on his feet, and lay down for a 
moment, not meaning to go to sleep. But he had hardly 
stretched himself out, before his eyelids closed, and he fell fast 
asleep. He slept so soundly, that nothing in the world could 
have awakened him. 

At two o'clock the Raven came, drawn by her four white 
horses. But she was already very sad, for she said : ' I know 
he is asleep.' 

She alighted from the carriage, went to him, shook him, and 
called him, but he did not wake. 

Next day at dinner-time the Old Woman came again, and 
brought him food and drink ; but again he refused to touch it. 
But she left him no peace, till at last she induced him to take a 
sip from the glass. 

Towards two o'clock he again went into the garden, and 
stood on the tan-heap, meaning to wait for the Raven. But he 
suddenly became so tired, that he sank down and fell into a 
deep sleep. 

When the Raven drove up with her chestnut horses, she 
was very mournful, and said : ' I know he is asleep.' 

She went to him, but he was fast asleep, and she could not 
wake him. 



Next day the Old Woman said : ' What is the meaning of 
this ? If you don't eat or drink you will die.' 

He said : ' I must not, and I will not either eat or drink.' 

She put the dish of food and the glass of wine before him, 
and when the scent of the wine reached him, he could withstand 
it no longer, and took a good draught. 

When the time came he went into the garden and stood on 
the tan-heap and waited for the Raven. But he was more 
tired than ever, lay down and slept like a log. 

At two o'clock the Raven came, drawn by four black horses, 
the coach and everything about it was black. She herself was 
in the deepest mourning, and said : ' Alas ! I know he is 

She shook him, and called him, but she could not wake 

Finding her efforts in vain, she placed a loaf beside him, a 
piece of meat, and a bottle of wine. Then she took a golden 
ring on which her name was engraved, and put it on his finger. 
Lastly, she laid a letter by him, saying that the bread, the 
meat, and the wine were inexhaustible. She also said — 

' I see that you cannot deliver me here, but if you still 
wish to do so, come to the Golden Castle of Stromberg. I 
know that it is still in your power.' 

Then she seated herself in her coach again, and drove to 
the Golden Castle of Stromberg. 

When the Man woke and found that he had been asleep, 
his heart grew heavy, and he said : ' She certainly must have 
passed, and I have not delivered her.' 

Then his eyes fell on the things lying by him, and he read 
the letter which told him all that had occurred. 

So he got up and went away to find the Golden Castle of 
Stromberg, but he had no idea where to find it. 

When he had wandered about for a long time he came to a 
dark wood whence he could not find his way out. 

After walking about in it for a fortnight, he lay down one 
night mider a bush to sleep, for he was very tired. But he 


heard such lamentations and howHng that he could not go to 

Then he saw a light glimmering in the distance and went 
towards it. When he reached it, he found that it came from 

'I'lie Golden Castle of Stromberg. 

a house which looked very tiny because a huge Giant was 
standing at the door. 

He thought : ' If I go in and the Giant sees me, I shan't 
escape with my life.' 



But at last he ventured to go forward. 

When the Giant saw him, he said : ' It 's a good thing you 
have appeared. I have had nothing to eat for an age. I will 
just swallow you for my supper.' 

' You had better let me alone,' said the Man. ' I shan't 
let myself be swallowed in a hurry. If you only want some- 
thing to eat, I have plenty here to satisfy you.' 

' If you are speaking the truth,' said the Giant, ' you may 
be quite easy, I was only going to eat you because I had 
nothing else.' 

Then they went in and sat down at the table, and the Man 
produced the bread, the meat, and the wine, which were 

' This just suits me,' said the Giant. And he ate as much 
as ever he could. 

The Man said to him : ' Can't you tell me where to find the 
Golden Castle ? ' 

The Giant said : ' I will look at my map. Every town, 
village, and house is marked upon it.' 

He fetched the map, but the castle was not to be 

' It doesn't matter,' he said. ' I have a bigger map up- 
stairs in my chest ; we will look for it there.' 

At last the Golden Castle was discovered, but it was many 
thousands of miles away. 

' How am I ever to get there ? ' asked the Man. 

The Giant said : ' I have a couple of hours to spare. I will 
carry you near it. But then I must come back to look after 
my wife and child.' 

Then the Giant transported him to within a hundred miles 
of the Castle, and said : ' You will be able to find your way from 
here alone.' Then he went back ; and the Man went on, till at 
last he came to the Golden Castle. 

It stood on a mountain of glass, and the bewitched Maiden 
drove round and round it every day in her coach. 

He was delighted to see her again, and wanted to go to her 


at once. But when he tried to cUmb the mountain, he found 
it was so sUppery, that he shd back at every step. 

When he found he could not reach her, he grew very sad, 
and said to himself : ' I will stay down here and wait for her.' 

So he built himself a little hut, and lived in it for a whole 
year. He could see the Princess above, driving round the castle 
every day, but he could never get to her. 

Then one day he saw three Robbers fighting, and called out 
to them : ' God be with you ! ' 

They stopped at the 
sound of his voice, but, 
seeing nothing, they 
began to fight again. 

Then he cried again : 
' God be with you ! ' 

They stopped and 
looked about, but, see- 
ing no one, went on 

Then he cried for 
the third time : ' God 
be with you ! ' 

Again they stopped 
and looked about, but, 
as there was no one 
visible, they fell to more 
savagely than ever. 

He said to himself 

He went up and asked them why they were fighting 

One of them said he had found a stick which made any door 
fly open which it touched. 

The second said he had found a cloak which made him 
invisible when he wore it. 

The third said he had caught a horse which could go any- 
where, even up the mountain of glass. 


One day lie saw three Rolibers fig-Iitinjj 

I must 

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His punishment, however, was not long delayed. After a 
few blows at the tree, he hit his own leg, and had to be carried 

Then Simpleton said, ' Let me go to cut the wood, father.' 
But his father said, ' Your brothers have only come to harm 
by it ; you had better leave it alone. You know nothing 

There stands an old tree ; cut it down, and you will find 
something at the roots. 

about it.' But Simpleton begged so hard to be allowed to go 
that at last his father said, ' Well, off you go then. You will 
be wiser when you have hurt yourself.' 

His mother gave him a cake which was only mixed with 
water and baked in the ashes, and a bottle of sour beer. Wlien 
he reached the forest, like the others, he met the little grey 


Man, who greeted him, and said, ' Give me a bit of your cake 
and a drop of your wine. I am so hungry and thirsty.' 

Simpleton answered, ' I only have a cake baked in the ashes, 
and some sour beer ; but, if you like such fare, we will sit down 
and eat it together.' 

So they sat down ; but when Simpleton pulled out his cake 
it was a sweet, nice cake, and his sour beer was turned into good 
wine. So they ate and drank, and the little Man said, ' As you 
have such a good heart, and are willing to share your goods, I 

So now there were seven people running behind Simpleton and his Goose. 

will give you good luck. There stands an old tree ; cut it 
down, and you will find something at the roots.' 

So saying he disappeared. 

Simpleton cut down the tree, and when it fell, lo, and 
behold ! a Goose was sitting among the roots, and its feathers 
were of pure gold. He picked it up, and taking it with him, 
went to an inn, where he meant to stay the night. The land- 
lord had three daughters, who saw the Goose, and were very 



curious as to what kind of bird it could be, and wanted to get 
one of its golden feathers. 

The eldest thought, ' There will soon be some opportunity 
for me to pull out one of the feathers,' and when Simpleton 
went outside, she took hold of its wing to pluck out a feather ; 

but her hand stuck fast, and she 
could not get away. 

Soon after, the second sister 
came up, meaning also to pluck out 
one of the golden feathers ; but 
she had hardly touched her sister 
when she found herself held fast. 
Lastly, the third one came, with 

*- - 

the same intention, but the others 
screamed out, ' Keep away ! For 
goodness sake, keep away ! ' 

But she, not knowing why she 
was to keep away, thought, ' Why 
should I not be there, if they are 
there ? ' 

So she ran up, but as soon as 
she touched her sisters she had to 
stay hanging on to them, and they 
all had to pass the night hke this. 

In the morning. Simpleton took up the Goose under his 
arm, without noticing the three girls hanging on behind. They 
had to keep running behind, dodging his legs right and left. 

In the middle of the fields they met the Parson, who, when 

And so they followed up hill and down 
dale after Simpleton and his Goose. 


he saw the procession, cried out : ' For shame, you bold girls I 
Why do you run after the lad like that ? Do you call that 
proper behaviour ? ' 

Then he took hold of the hand of the youngest girl to pull 
her away ; but no sooner had he touched her than he felt 
himself held fast, and he, 
too, had to run behind. 

Soon after the Sexton 
came up, and, seeing his 
master the Parson tread- 
ing on the heels of the ^^ '^^i^^^^ JM^,l-' 
three girls, cried out in 
amazement, 'Hullo, your 

■ . Reverence ! 
" Whither away 
so fast? Don't 
forget that we 
have a chris- 
tening ! ' 
So saying, he plucked the Parson by the 
sleeve, and soon found that he could not 
'' ' get away. 

As this party of five, one behind the other, tramped on, two 
Peasants came along the road, carrying their hoes. The 
Parson called them, and asked them to set the Sexton and 
himself free. But as soon as ever they touched the Sexton 
they were held fast, so now there were seven people running 
behind Simpleton and his Goose. 



By-and-by they reached a town, where a King ruled whose 
only daughter was so solemn that nothing and nobody could 
make her laugh. So the King had proclaimed that whoever 
could make her laugh should marry her. 

When Simpleton heard this he took his Goose, with all his 
following, before her, and when she saw these seven people 
running, one behind another, she burst into fits of laughter, and 
seemed as if she could never stop. 

Thereupon Simpleton asked her in marriage. But the King 
did not like him for a son-in-law, and he made all sorts of 
conditions. First, he said Simpleton must bring him a man 
who could drink up a cellar full of wine. 

Then Simpleton at once thought of the little grey Man 
who might be able to help him, and he went out to the forest 
to look for him. On the very spot where the tree that he had 
cut down had stood, he saw a man sitting with a very sad face. 
Simpleton asked him what was the matter, and he answered — 

' I am so thirsty, and I can't quench my thirst. I hate 
cold water, and I have already emptied a cask of wine ; but 
what is a drop like that on a burning stone ? ' 

' Well, there I can help you,' said Simpleton. ' Come with 
me, and you shall soon have enough to drink and to spare.' 

He led him to the King's cellar, and the Man set to upon the 
great casks, and he drank and drank till his sides ached, and 
by the end of the day the cellar was empty. 

Then again Simpleton demanded his bride. But the King 
was annoyed that a wretched fellow called ' Simpleton ' should 
have his daughter, and he made new conditions. He was now 
to find a man who could eat up a mountain of bread. 

Simpleton did not reflect long, but went straight to the 
forest, and there in the self-same place sat a man tightening a 
strap round his body, and making a very miserable face. He 
said : ' I have eaten up a whole ovenful of rolls, but what is 
the good of that when any one is as hungry as I am. I am 
never satisfied. I have to tighten my belt every day if I am 
not to die of hunger.' 


Simpleton was delighted, and said : ' Get up and come with 
me. You shall have enough to eat.' 

And he took him to the Court, where the King had caused 
all the flour in the kingdom to be brought together, and a huge 
mountain of bread to be baked. The Man from the forest sat 
down before it and began to eat, and at the end of the day the 
whole mountain had disappeared. 

Now, for the third time, Simpleton asked for his bride. 
But again the King tried to find an excuse, and demanded a 
ship which could sail on land as well as at sea. 

' As soon as you sail up in it, you shall have my daughter,' 
he said. 

Simpleton went straight to the forest, and there sat the 
little grey Man to whom he had given his cake. The little Man 
said : ' I have eaten and drunk for you, and now I will give 
you the ship, too. I do it all because you were merciful to me.' 

Then he gave him the ship which could sail on land as well 
as at sea, and when the King saw it he could no longer withhold 
his daughter. The marriage was celebrated, and, at the 
King's death, the Simpleton inherited the kingdom, and lived 
long and happily with his wife. 

The King could no longer withhold his daughter. 


The Water of Life 

THERE was once a King who was so ill that it was 
thought impossible his life could be saved. He had 
three sons, and they were all in great distress on his 
account, and they went into the castle gardens and wept at the 
thought that he must die. An old man came up to them and 
asked the cause of their grief. They told him that their father 
was dying, and nothing could save him. The old man said, 
' There is only one remedy which I know ; it is the Water of 
Life. If he drinks of it, he will recover, but it is very difficult 
to find.' 

The eldest son said, ' I will soon find it ' ; and he went to 
the sick man to ask permission to go in search of the Water of 
Life, as that was the only thing to cure him. 

' No,' said the King. ' The danger is too great. I would 
rather die.' 

But he persisted so long that at last the King gave his 

The Prince thought, ' If I bring this water I shall be the 
favourite, and I shall inherit the kingdom.' 

So he set off, and when he had ridden some distance he 
came upon a Dwarf standing in the road, who cried, ' Whither 
away so fast ? ' 

' Stupid little fellow,' said the Prince, proudly ; ' what 
business is it of yours ? ' and rode on. 

The little man was very angry, and made an evil vow. 

Soon after, the Prince came to a gorge in the mountains, and 
the further he rode the narrower it became, till he could go no 
further. His horse could neither go forward nor turn round 
for him to dismount ; so there he sat, jammed in. 


The sick King waited a long time for him, but he never came 
back. Then the second son said, ' Father, let me go and find 
the Water of Life,' thinking, ' if my brother is dead I shall have 
the kingdom.' 

The King at first refused to let him go, but at last he gave 
his consent. So the Prince started on the same road as his 
brother, and met the same Dwarf, who stopped him and asked 
where he was going in such a hurry. 

' Little Snippet, what does it matter to you ? ' he said, and 
rode away without looking back. 

But the Dwarf cast a spell over him, and he, too, got into 
a narrow gorge like his brother, where he could neither go 
backwards nor forwards. 

This is what happens to the haughty. 

As the second son also stayed away, the youngest one 
offered to go and fetch the Water of Life, and at last the King 
was obliged to let him go. 

When he met the Dwarf, and he asked him where he was 
hurrying to, he stopped and said, ' I am searching for the 
Water of Life, because my father is dying.' 

' Do you know where it is to be found ? ' 

' No,' said the Prince. 

' As you have spoken pleasantly to me, and not been 
haughty like your false brothers, I will help you and tell you 
how to find the Water of Life. It flows from a fountain in the 
courtyard of an enchanted castle ; but you will never get in 
unless I give you an iron rod and two loaves of bread. With 
the rod strike three times on the iron gate of the castle, and it 
will spring open. Inside you will find two Lions with wide- 
open jaws, but if you throw a loaf to each they will be quiet. 
Then you must make haste to fetch the Water of Life before it 
strikes twelve, or the gates of the castle will close and you will 
be shut in.' 

The Prince thanked him, took the rod and the loaves, and 
set off. When he reached the castle all was just as the Dwarf 
had said. At the third knock the gate flew open, and when 



he had pacified the Lions with the loaves, he walked into the 
castle. In the great hall he found several enchanted Princes, 
and he took the rings from their fingers. He also took a sword 
and a loaf, which were lying by them. On passing into the 
next room he found a beautiful Maiden, who rejoiced at his 
coming. She embraced him, and said that he had saved her, 
and should have the whole of her kingdom ; and if he would 
come back in a year she would marry him. She also told him 
where to find the fountain with the enchanted water ; but, she 
said, he must make haste to get out of the castle before the 
clock struck twelve. 

Then he went on, and came to a room where there was a 
beautiful bed freshly made, and as he was very tired he thought 
he would take a little rest ; so he lay down and fell asleep. 
When he woke it was striking a quarter to twelve. He sprang 
up in a fright, and ran to the fountain, and took some of the 
water in a cup which was lying near, and then hurried away. 
The clock struck just as he reached the iron gate, and it banged 
so quickly that it took off a bit of his heel. 

He was rejoiced at having got some of the Water of Life, 
and hastened on his homeward journey. He again passed the 
Dwarf, who said, when he saw the sword and the loaf, ' Those 
things will be of much service to you. You will be able to 
strike down whole armies with the sword, and the loaf will 
never come to an end.' 

The Prince did not want to go home without his brothers, 
and he said, ' Good Dwarf, can you not tell me where my 
brothers are ? They went in search of the Water of Life before 
I did, but they never came back.' 

' They are both stuck fast in a narrow mountain gorge. I 
cast a spell over them because of their pride.' 

Then the Prince begged so hard that they might be released 
that at last the Dwarf yielded ; but he warned him against 
them, and said, ' Beware of them ; they have bad hearts.' 

He was delighted to see his brothers when they came back, 
and told them all that had happened to him ; how he had 


found the Water of Life, and brought a goblet full with him. 
How he had released a beautiful Princess, who would wait a 
year for him and then marry him, and he would become a great 

Then they rode away together, and came to a land where 
famine and war were raging. The ffing thought he would be 
utterly ruined, so great was the destitution. 

The Prince went to him and gave him the loaf, and with 
it he fed and satisfied his whole kingdom. The Prince also 
gave him his sword, and he smote the whole army of his 
enemies with it, and then he was able to live in peace and quiet. 
Then the Prince took back his sword and his loaf, and the three 
brothers rode on. But they had to pass through two more 
countries where war and famine were raging, and each time 
the Prince gave his sword and his loaf to the King, and in this 
way he saved three kingdoms. 

After that they took a ship and crossed the sea. During 
the passage the two elder brothers said to each other, ' Our 
youngest brother found the Water of Life, and we did not, so 
our father will give him the kingdom which we ought to have, 
and he will take away our fortune from us.' 

This thought made them very vindictive, and they made up 
their minds to get rid of him. They waited till he was asleep, 
and then they emptied the Water of Life from his goblet and 
took it themselves, and filled up his cup with salt sea water. 

As soon as they got home the youngest Prince took his 
goblet to the King, so that he might drink of the water which 
was to make him well ; but after drinking only a few drops of 
the sea water he became more ill than ever. As he was 
bewailing himself, his two elder sons came to him and accused 
the youngest of trying to poison him, and said that they had 
the real Water of Life, and gave him some. No sooner had he 
drunk it than he felt better, and he soon became as strong and 
well as he had been in his youth. 

Then the two went to their youngest brother, and mocked 
him, saying, ' It was you who found the Water of Life ; you 



had all the trouble, while we have the reward. You should 
have been wiser, and kept your eyes open ; we stole it from 
you while you were asleep on the ship. When the end of the 
year comes, one of us will go and bring away the beautiful 
Princess. But don't dare to betray us. Our father will 
certainly not believe you, and if you say a single word you will 
lose your life ; your only chance is to keep silence.' 

The old King was very angry with his youngest son, think- 
ing that he had tried to take his life. So he had the Court 
assembled to give judgment upon him, and it was decided that 
he must be secretly got out of the way. 

One day when the Prince was going out hunting, thinking 
no evil, the King's Huntsman was ordered to go with him. 
Seeing the Huntsman look sad, the Prince said to him, ' My 
good Hvmtsman, what is the matter with you ? ' 

The Huntsman answered, ' I can't bear to tell you, and yet I 

The Prince said, ' Say it out ; whatever it is I will forgive 

' Alas ! ' said the Huntsman, ' I am to shoot you dead ; 
it is the King's command.' 

The Prince was horror-stricken, and said, ' Dear Huntsman, 
do not kill me, give me my life. Let me have your dress, and 
you shall have my royal robes.' 

The Huntsman said, ' I will gladly do so ; I could never 
have shot you.' So they changed clothes, and the Huntsman 
went home, but the Prince wandered away into the forest. 

After a time three wagon loads of gold and precious stones 
came to the King for his youngest son. They were sent by the 
Kings who had been saved by the Prince's sword and his 
miraculous loaf, and who now wished to show their grati- 

Then the old King thought, ' What if my son really was 
innocent ? ' and said to his people, ' If only he were still aUve ! 
How sorry I am that I ordered him to be killed.' 

' He is still alive,' said the Huntsman. ' I could not find 


it in my heart to carry out your commands,' and he told the 
King what had taken place. 

A load fell from the King's heart on hearing the good news, 
and he sent out a proclamation to all parts of his kingdom that 
his son was to come home, where he would be received with 
great favour. 

In the meantime, the Princess had caused a road to be 
made of pure shining gold leading to her castle, and told her 
people that whoever came riding straight along it would be the 
true bridegroom, and they were to admit him. But any one 
who came either on one side of the road or the other would not 
be the right one, and he was not to be let in. 

When the year had almost passed, the eldest Prince thought 
that he would hiu-ry to the Princess, and by giving himself out 
as her deUverer would gain a wife and a kingdom as well. So 
he rode away, and when he saw the beautiful golden road he 
thought it would be a thousand pities to ride upon it ; so he 
turned aside, and rode to the right of it. But when he reached 
the gate the people told him that he was not the true bride- 
groom, and he had to go away. 

Soon after the second Prince came, and when he saw the 
golden road he thought it would be a thousand pities for his 
horse to tread upon it ; so he turned aside, and rode up on the 
left of it. But when he reached the gate he was also told that 
he was not the true bridegroom, and, like his brother, was 
turned away. 

When the year had quite come to an end, the third Prince 
came out of the wood to ride to his beloved, and through her 
to forget all his past sorrows. So on he went, thinking only of 
her, and wishing to be with her ; and he never even saw the 
golden road. His horse cantered right along the middle of it, 
and when he reached the gate it was flung open and the 
Princess received him joyfully, and called him her Deliverer, 
and the Lord of her Kingdom. Their marriage was celebrated 
without delay, and with much rejoicing. When it was over, 
she told him that his father had called him back and forgiven 



him. So he went to him and told him everything ; how his 
brothers had deceived him, and how they had forced him to 
keep silence. The old King wanted to punish them, but they 
had taken a ship and sailed away over the sea, and they never 
came back as long as they lived. 


The Twelve Huntsmen 

THERE was once a Prince, who was betrothed to a 
Maiden, the daughter of a King, whom he loved very 
much. One day when they were together, and very 
happy, a messenger came from the Prince's father, who was 
lying ill, to summon him home as he wished to see him before 
he died. He said to his beloved, ' I must go away, and leave 
you now ; but I give you this ring as a keepsake. When I am 
King, I will come and fetch you away.' 

Then he rode off, and when he got home he found his father 
on his death-bed. His father said, ' My dear son, I wanted to 
see you once more before I die. Promise to marry the bride I 
have chosen for you,' and he named a certain Princess. 

His son was very sad, and without reflecting promised to 
do what his father wished, and thereupon the King closed his 
eyes and died. 

Now, when the Prince had been proclaimed King, and the 
period of mourning was past, the time came when he had to 
keep his promise to his father. He made his offer to the 
Princess, and it was accepted. His betrothed heard of this, 
and grieved so much over his faithlessness that she very nearly 
died. The King her father asked, ' Dear child, why are you so 
sad ? You shall have whatever you desire.' 

She thought for a moment, then said, ' Dear father, I want 
eleven maidens all exactly like me in face, figure, and height.' 

The King said, ' If it is possible, your wish shall be fulfilled.' 

Then he caused a search to be made all over his kingdom, 
till the eleven maidens were found, all exactly like his daughter. 
The Princess ordered twelve huntsmen's dresses to be made, 
which she commanded the maidens to wear, putting on the 



twelfth herself. Then she took leave of her father, and rode 
away with the maidens to the court of her former bridegroom 
whom she loved so dearly. She asked him if he wanted any 
Huntsmen, and whether he would take them all into his service. 
The King did not recognise her, but, as they were all so hand- 
some, he said Yes, he would engage them. So they all entered 
the King's service. 

Now, the King had a Lion which was a wonderful creature, 
for he knew all secret and hidden things. He said to the King 
one evening, ' You fancy you have twelve Huntsmen there, 
don't you ? ' 

' Yes,' said the King. 

' You are mistaken,' said the Lion. ' They are twelve 

The King answered, ' That can't be true ! How can you 
prove it ? ' 

' Oh, have some peas strewn in your ante-room to-morrow, 
and you will soon see. Men have a firm tread, and when they 
walk on peas they don't move ; but maidens trip and trot and 
slide, and make the peas roll about.' 

The King was pleased with the Lion's advice, and ordered 
the peas to be strewn on the floor. 

There was, however, a servant of the King who favoured the 
Huntsmen, and when he heard that they were to be put to this 
test, he went and told them all about it, and said, ' The Lion is 
going to prove to the King that you are maidens.' 

The Princess thanked him, and said afterwards to her 
maidens, ' Do your utmost to tread firmly on the peas.' 

Next morning, when the King ordered them to be called, 
they walked into the ante-chamber with so firm a tread that 
not a pea moved When they had gone away, the King said 
to the Lion, ' You lied ; they walked just like men.' 

But the Lion answered, ' They had been warned of the test, 
and were prepared for it. Just let twelve spinning-wheels be 
brought into the ante-chamber, and they will be delighted at 
the sight, as no man would be.' 


This plan also pleased the King, and he ordered the spinning 
wheels. But again the kind servant warned the Huntsmen of 
the plan. When they were alone, the Princess said to her 
maidens, ' Control yourselves, and don't so much as look at the 

When the King next morning sent for the Huntsmen, they 
walked through the ante-chamber without even glancing at 
the spinning-wheels. 

Then the King said to the Lion, ' You lied to me. They are 
men ; they never looked at the spinning-wheels.' 

The Lion answered, ' They knew that they were on their 
trial, and restrained themselves.' 

But the King would not believe him any more. 

The twelve Huntsmen always went with the King on his 
hunting expeditions, and the longer he had them, the better he 
liked them. Now, it happened one day when they were out 
hunting, that the news came of the royal bride's approach. 

When the true bride heard it, the shock was so great that 
her heart nearly stopped, and she fell down in a dead faint. 
The King, thinking something had happened to his favourite 
Huntsman, ran to help him, and pulled off his glove. Then he 
saw the ring which he had given to his first betrothed, and when 
he looked her in the face he recognised her. He was so moved 
that he kissed her, and when she opened her eyes he said, 
' Thou art mine, and I am thine, and nobody in the world shall 
separate us.' 

Then he sent a messenger to the other bride, and begged her 
to go home, as he already had a wife, and he who has an old 
dish does not need a new one. Their marriage was then 
celebrated, and the Lion was taken into favour again, as, 
after all, he had spoken the truth. 


The King of the Golden Mountain 

THERE was once a Merchant who had two children, a 
boy and a girl. They were both small, and not old 
enough to run about. He had also two richly-laden 
ships at sea, and just as he was expecting to make a great deal 
of money by the merchandise, news came that they had both 
been lost. So now instead of being a rich man he was quite 
poor, and had nothing left but one field near the town. 

To turn his thoughts from his misfortune, he went out into 
this field, and as he was walking up and down a little black 
Mannikin suddenly appeared before him, and asked why he 
was so sad. The Merchant said, ' I would tell you at once, if 
you could help me.' 

' Who knows,' answered the little Mannikin. ' Perhaps I 
could help you.' 

Then the Merchant told him that all his wealth had been 
lost in a wreck, and that now he had nothing left but this field. 

' Don't worry yourself,' said the Mannikin. ' If you will 
promise to bring me in twelve years' time the first thing which 
rubs against your legs when you go home, you shall have as 
much gold as you want.' 

The Merchant thought, ' What could it be but my dog ? ' 
He never thought of his boy, but said Yes, and gave the 
Mannikin his bond signed and sealed, and went home. 

When he reached the house his little son, delighted to hold 
on to the benches and totter towards his father, seized him by 
the leg to steady himself. 

The Merchant was horror-stricken, for his vow came into his 
head, and now he knew what he had promised to give away. 
But as he still found no gold in his chests, he thought it must 


only have been a joke of the Mannikin's. A month later he 
went up into the loft to gather together some old tin to sell it, 
and there he found a great heap of gold on the floor. So he 
was soon up in the world again, bought and sold, became a 
richer merchant than ever, and was altogether contented. 

In the meantime the boy had grown up, and he was both 
clever and wise. But the nearer the end of the twelve years 
came, the more sorrowful the Merchant grew ; you could even 
see his misery in his face. One day his son asked him what 
was the matter, but his father would not tell him. The boy, 
however, persisted so long that at last he told him that, without 
knowing what he was doing, he had promised to give him up at 
the end of twelve years to a little black Mannikin, in return for 
a quantity of gold. He had given his hand and seal on it, and 
the time was now near for him to go. 

Then his son said, ' O father, don't be frightened, it will be 
all right. The little black Mannikin has no power over me.' 

When the time came, the son asked a blessing of the Priest, 
and he and his father went to the field together ; and the son 
made a circle within which they took their places. 

When the little black Mannikin appeared, he said to the 
father, ' Have you brought v/hat you promised me ? ' 

The man was silent, but his son said, ' What do you 
want ? ' 

The Mannikin said, ' My business is with your father, and 
not with you.' 

The son answered, ' You deceived and cheated my father. 
Give me back his bond.' 

' Oh no ! ' said the little man ; ' I won't give up my 

They talked to each other for a long time, and at last they 
decided that, as the son no longer belonged to his father, and 
declined to belong to his foe, he should get into a boat on a 
flowing stream, and his father should push it off himself, thus 
giving him up to the stream. 

So the youth took leave of his father, got into the boat, and 



his father pushed it off. Then, thinking that his son was lost to 
him for ever, he went home and sorrowed for him. The Uttle 
boat, however, did not sink, it drifted quietly down the stream, 
and the youth sat in it in perfect safety. It drifted for a long 
time, till at last it stuck fast on an unknown shore. The youth 
landed, and seeing a beautiful castle near, walked towards it. 
As he passed under the doorway, however, a spell fell upon him. 
He went through all the rooms, but found them empty, till he 
came to the very last one, where a Serpent lay coiling and 
uncoiling itself. The Serpent was really an enchanted maiden, 
who was delighted when she saw the youth, and said, ' Have 
you come at last, my preserver ? I have been waiting twelve 
years for you. This whole kingdom is bewitched, and you 
must break the spell.' 

' How am I to do that ? ' he asked. 

She said, ' To-night, twelve black men hung with chains 
will appear, and they will ask what you are doing here. But 
do not speak a word, whatever they do or say to you. They 
will torment you, strike, and pinch you, but don't say a word. 
At twelve o'clock they will have to go away. On the second 
night twelve more will come, and on the third twenty-four. 
These will cut off your head. But at twelve o'clock their power 
goes, and if you have borne it, and not spoken a word, I shall 
be saved. Then I will come to you, and bring a little flask 
containing the Water of Life, with which I will sprinkle you, 
and you will be brought to life again, as sound and well as ever 
you were.' 

Then he said, ' I will gladly save you ! ' 

Everything happened just as she had said. The black men 
could not force a word out of him ; and on the third night the 
Serpent became a beautiful Princess, who brought the Water of 
Life as she had promised, and restored the youth to life. Then 
she fell on his neck and kissed him, and there were great rejoic- 
ings all over the castle. 

Their marriage was celebrated, and he became King of the 
Golden Mountain. 


They lived happily together, and in course of time a 
beautiful boy was born to them. 

When eight years had passed, the King's heart grew tender 
within him as he thought of his father, and he wanted to go 
home to see him. But the Queen did not want him to go. She 
said, ' I know it will be to my misfortune.' However, he gave 
her no peace till she agreed to let him go. On his departure 
she gave him a wishing-ring, and said, ' Take this ring, and put 
it on your finger, and you will at once be at the place where 
you wish to be. Only, you must promise never to use it to 
wish me away from here to be with you at your father's.' 

He made the promise, and put the ring on his finger ; he 
then wished himself before the town where his father lived, 
and at the same moment found himself at the gate. But the 
sentry would not let him in because his clothes, though of rich 
material, were of such strange cut. So he went up a mountain, 
where a Shepherd lived, and, exchanging clothing with him, 
put on his old smock, and passed into the town unnoticed. 

When he reached his father he began making himself known ; 
but his father, never thinking that it was his son, said that it 
was true he had once had a son, but he had long been dead. 
But, he added, seeing that he was a poor Shepherd, he would 
give him a plate of food. • 

The supposed Shepherd said to his parents, ' I am indeed 
your son. Is there no mark on my body by which you may 
know me ? ' 

His mother said, ' Yes, oiir son has a strawberry mark under 
his right arm.' 

He pushed up his shirt sleeve, and there was the strawberry 
mark ; so they no longer doubted that he was their son. He 
told them that he was the King of the Golden Mountain, his 
wife was a Princess, and they had a little son seven years old. 

' That can't be true,' said his father. ' You are a fine sort 
of King to come home in a tattered Shepherd's smock.' 

His son grew angry, and, without stopping to reflect, 
turned his ring round and wished his wife and son to appear. 



In a moment they both stood before him ; but his wife did 
nothing but weep and lament, and said that he had broken his 
promise, and by so doing had made her very unhappy. He said, 
' I have acted incautiously, but from no bad motive,' and he 
tried to soothe her. 

She appeared to be calmed, but really she nourished evil 
intentions towards him in her heart. 

Shortly after he took her outside the town to the field, and 
showed her the stream down which he had drifted in the little 
boat. Then he said, ' I am tired ; I want to rest a little.' 

So she sat down, and he rested his head upon her lap, and 
soon fell fast asleep. As soon as he was asleep, she drew the 
ring from his finger, and drew herself gently away from him, 
leaving only her slipper behind. Last of all, taking her child 
in her arms, she wished herself back in her own kingdom. 
When he woke up, he found himself quite deserted ; wife and 
child were gone, the ring had disappeared from his finger, and 
only her slipper remained as a token. 

' I can certainly never go home to my parents,' he said. 
' They would say I was a sorcerer. I must go away and walk 
till I reach my own kingdom again.' 

So he went away, and at last he came to a mountain, where 
three Giants were quarrelling about the division of their 
father's property. When they saw him passing, they called 
him up, and said, ' Little people have sharp wits,' and asked 
him to divide their inheritance for them. 

It consisted, first, of a sword, with which in one's hand, if 
one said, ' All heads off, mine alone remain,' every head fell to 
the ground. Secondly, of a mantle which rendered any one 
putting it on invisible. Thirdly, of a pair of boots which 
transported the wearer to whatever place he wished. 

He said, ' Give me the three articles so that I may see if 
they are all in good condition.' 

So they gave him the mantle, and he at once became 
invisible. He took his own shape again, and said, ' The mantle 
is good ; now give me the sword.' 


But they said, ' No, we can't give you the sword. If you 
were to say, " All heads off, mine alone remain," all our heads 
would fall, and yours would be the only one left.' 

At last, however, they gave it to him, on condition that he 
was to try it on a tree. He did as they wished, and the sword 
went through the tree trunk as if it had been a straw. Then 
he wanted the boots, but they said, ' No, we won't give them 
away. If you were to put them on and wish yourself on the 
top of the mountain, we should be left standing here without 

' No,' said he ; ' I won't do that.' 

So they gave him the boots too ; but when he had all three 
he could think of nothing but his wife and child, and said to 
himself, ' Oh, if only I were on the Golden Mountain again ! ' 
and immediately he disappeared from the sight of the Giants, 
and there was an end of their inheritance. 

When he approached his castle he heard sounds of music, 
fiddles and flutes, and shouts of joy. People told him that his 
wife was celebrating her marriage with another husband. He 
was filled with rage, and said, ' The false creature ! She 
deceived me, and deserted me when I was asleep.' 

Then he put on his mantle, and went to the castle, invisible 
to all. When he went into the hall, where a great feast was 
spread with the richest foods and the costliest wines, the guests 
were joking and laughing while they ate and drank. The 
Queen sat on her throne in their midst in gorgeous clothing, 
with the crown on her head. He placed himself behind her, 
and no one saw him. Whenever the Queen put a piece of meat 
on her plate, he took it away and ate it, and when her glass was 
filled he took it away and drank it. Her plate and her glass 
were constantly refilled, but she never had anything, for it 
disappeared at once. At last she grew frightened, got up, and 
went to her room in tears, but he followed her there too. She 
said to herself, ' Am I still in the power of the demon ? Did 
my preserver never come ? ' 

He struck her in the face, and said, ' Did your preserver 



never come ? He is with you now, deceiver that you are. 
Did I deserve such treatment at your hands ? ' Then he made 
himself visible, and went into the hall, and cried, ' The wedding 
is stopped, the real King has come.' 

The Kings, Princes, and Nobles who were present laughed 
him to scorn. But he only said, ' Will you go, or will you 
not ? ' They tried to seize him, but he drew his sword and 

' All heads off, mine alone remain.' 

Then all their heads fell to the ground, and he remained 
sole King and Lord of the Golden Mountain. 


Doctor Know-Ail 

ONCE upon a time a poor Peasant, named Crabb, was 
taking a load of wood drawn by two oxen to the 
town for sale. He sold it to a Doctor for four thalers. 
Wlien the money was being paid to him, it so happened that 
the Doctor was sitting at dinner. When the Peasant saw how 
daintily the Doctor was eating and drinking, he felt a great 
desire to become a Doctor too. He remained standing and 
looking on for a time, and then asked if he could not be a 

' Oh yes ! ' said the Doctor ; ' that is easily managed.' 

' What must I do ? ' asked the Peasant. 

' First buy an ABC book ; you can get one with a cock as 
a frontispiece. Secondly, turn your wagon and oxen into 
money, and buy with it clothes and other things suitable for a 
Doctor. Thirdly, have a sign painted with the words, " I am 
Doctor Know-all," and have it nailed over your door.' 

The Peasant did everything that he was told to do. 

Now when he had been doctoring for a while, not very long 
though, a rich nobleman had some money stolen from him. 
He was told about Doctor Know-all, who lived in such and such 
a village, who would be sure to know what had become of it. 
So the gentleman ordered his carriage and drove to the village. 

He stopped at the Doctor's house, and asked Crabb if he 
were Doctor Know-all. 

' Yes, I am.' 

' Then you must go with me to get my stolen money back.' 

' Yes, certainly ; but Grethe, my wife, must come too.' 

The nobleman agreed, and gave both of them seats in his 
carriage, and they all drove off together. 



When they reached the nobleman's castle the dinner was 
ready, and Crabb was invited to sit down to table. 

' Yes ; but Grethe, my wife, must dine too ' ; and he 
seated himself with her. 

When the first Servant brought in a dish of choice food, 
the Peasant nudged his wife, and said : ' Grethe, that was the 
first,' — meaning that the servant was handing the first dish. 
But the servant thought he meant, ' That was the first thief.' 
As he really was the thief, he became much alarmed, and said 
to his comrades outside — 

' That Doctor knows everything, we shan't get out of this 
hole ; he said I was the first.' 

The second Servant did not want to go in at all, but he had 
to go, and when he offered his dish to the Peasant he nudged 
his wife, and said — ' Grethe, that is the second.' 

This Servant also was frightened and hurried out. 

The third one fared no better. The Peasant said again : 
' Grethe, that is the third.' 

The fourth one brought in a covered dish, and the master 
told the Doctor that he must show his powers and guess what 
was under the cover. Now it was a dish of crabs. 

The Peasant looked at the dish and did not know what to 
do, so he said : ' Wretched Crabb that I am.' i 

When the Master heard him he cried : ' There, he knows it ! 
Then he knows where the money is too.' 

Then the Servant grew terribly frightened, and signed to 
the Doctor to come outside. 

When he went out, they all four confessed to him that they 
had stolen the money ; they would gladly give it to him and 
a large sum in addition, if only he would not betray them to 
their Master, or their necks would be in peril. They also 
showed him where the money was hidden. Then the Doctor 
was satisfied, went back to the table, and said — 

' Now, Sir, I will look in my book to see where the money is 

The fifth, in the meantime, had crept into the stove to hear 


if the Doctor knew still more. But he sat there turning over 
the pages of his ABC book looking for the cock, and as he could 
not find it at once, he said : ' I know you are there, and out 
you must come.' 

The man in the stove thought it was meant for him, and 
sprang out in a fright, crying : ' The man knows everything.' 

Then Doctor Know-all showed the nobleman where the 
money was hidden, but he did not betray the servants ; and 
he received much money from both sides as a reward, and 
became a very celebrated man. 


The Seven Ravens 

THERE was once a Man who had seven sons, but never a 
daughter, however much he wished for one. 
At last, however, he had a daughter. 

His joy was great, but the child was small and delicate, 
and, on account of its weakness, it was to be christened at home. 

The Father sent one of his sons in haste to the spring to 
fetch some water ; the other six ran with him, and because 
each of them wanted to be the first to draw the water, between 
them the pitcher fell into the brook. 

There they stood and didn't know what to do, and not one 
of them ventured to go home. 

As they did not come back, their Father became impatient, 
and said : ' Perhaps the young rascals are playing about, and 
have forgotten it altogether.' 

He became anxious lest his little girl should die unbaptized, 
and in hot vexation, he cried : ' I wish the youngsters would 
all turn into Ravens ! ' 

Scarcely were the words uttered, when he heard a whirring 
in the air above his head, and, looking upwards, he saw seven 
coal-black Ravens flying away. 

The parents could not undo the spell, and were very sad 
about the loss of their seven sons, but they consoled themselves 
in some measure with their dear little daughter, who soon 
became strong, and every day more beautiful. 

For a long time she was unaware that she had had any 
brothers, for her parents took care not to mention it. 

However, one day by chance she heard some people saying 
about her : ' Oh yes, the girl 's pretty enough ; but you know 
she is really to blame for the misfortune to her seven brothers.' 


Then she became very sad, and went to her father and 
mother and asked if she had ever had any brothers, and what 
had become of them. 

The parents could no longer conceal the secret. They said, 
however, that what had happened was by the decree of heaven, 
and that her birth was merely the innocent occasion. 

But the little girl could not get the matter off her con- 
science for a single day, and thought that she was bound to 
release her brothers again. She had no peace or quiet until 
she had secretly set out, and gone forth into the wide world 
to trace her brothers, wherever they might be, and to free 
them, let it cost what it might. 

She took nothing' with her but a little ring as a remembrance 
of her parents, a loaf of bread against hunger, a pitcher of 
water against thirst, and a little chair in case of fatigue. She 
kept ever going on and on until she came to the end of the 

Then she came to the Sun, but it was hot and terrible, it 
devoured little children. She ran hastily away to the Moon, 
but it was too cold, and, moreover, dismal and dreary. And 
when the child was looking at it, it said : ' I smell, I smell 
man's flesh ! ' 

Then she quickly made off, and came to the Stars, and 
they were kind and good, and every one sat on his own special 

But the Morning Star stood up, and gave her a little bone, 
and said : ' Unless you have this bone, you cannot open the 
glass mountain, and in the glass mountain are your brothers.' 

The girl took the bone, and wrapped it up carefully in a 
little kerchief, and went on again until she came to the glass 

The gate was closed, and she meant to get out the little 
bone. But when she undid the kerchief it was empty, and she 
had lost the good Star's present. 

How, now, was she to set to work ? She was determined to 
rescue her brothers, but had no key to open the glass mountain. 



The good little sister took a knife and cut off her own tiny 
finger, fitted it into the keyhole, and succeeded in opening the 

When she had entered, she met a Dwarf, who said : ' My 
child, what are you looking for ? ' 

' I am looking for my brothers, the 
Seven Ravens,' she answered. 

The Dwarf said : ' My masters, the 
Ravens, are not at home ; but if you 
like to wait until they come, please to 
walk in.' 

Thereupon the Dwarf brought in the 
Ravens' supper, on seven little plates, 
and in seven little cups, and the little 
sister ate a crimib or two from each of the 
little plates, and took a sip from each of 
the little cups, but she let the ring she had 
brought with her fall into the last little 

All at once a whirring and crying were 
heard in the air ; then the Dwarf said : 
' Now my masters the Ravens are coming 

Then they came in, and wanted to eat 
and drink, and began to look about for 
their little plates and cups. 

But they said one after another : 
' Halloa ! who has been eating off my 
plate ? Who has been drinking out of 
my cup ? There has been some human 
mouth here.' 

And when the seventh drank to the bottom of his cup, the 
ring rolled up against his lips. 

He looked at it, and recognised it as a ring belonging to his 
father and mother, and said : ' God grant that our sister may 
be here, and that we may be delivered.' 

When she entered 
she met a Dwarf. 


As the maiden was standing behind the door listening, she 
heard the wish and came forward, and then all the Ravens got 
back their human form again. 

And they embraced and kissed one another, and went joy- 
fully home. 

The Ravens coming home. 


The Marriage of Mrs. Reynard 

THERE was once an old Fox who thought that his wife 
was not true to him, and determined to put her to 
the test. He stretched himself under the bank, lay 
motionless, and pretended to be as dead as a door nail. Mrs. 
Reynard went to her chamber, and shut herself in ; and her 
servant, Mistress Cat, sat by the fire, and cooked the dinner. 

Now, when it became known that the old Fox was dead, 
suitors began to announce themselves. Soon afterwards, the 
servant heard some one knocking at the front door. She went 
and opened the door, and there stood a young Fox, who said — 

' What are ye doing, pray. Mistress Cat ? 
Sleeping or waking? or what are ye at ?' 

She answered — 

' I 'm not asleep ; I 'm wide awake. 
D'ye want to know what now I make? 
I'm warming beer, witli butter in it; 
I beg ye '11 taste it in a minute.' 

' I 'm much obliged, Mistress,' said the Fox. ' What is 
Mrs. Reynard doing ? ' 
The Maid answered — 

' In chamber sad she sits alone. 
And ceases not with grief to moan. 
She weeps until her eves are red, 
Because the dear old Fox is dead.' 

' Well, just tell her. Mistress, that there 's a young Fox here, 
who would be glad to woo her.' 
' Very well, young gentleman.' 


' Then went the Cat with pit-a-pat 
And smote the door, rat-tata-tat ! 
" Prav, Mrs. Revnard, are you in ? 
Outside a wooer waits below ! "' 

' Well, what 's he like ? I want to know. Has he got nine 
such beautiful tails as the late lamented Mr. Reynard ? ' 

' Oh dear no,' answered the Cat. ' He has only got one.' 

' Then I won't have him.' 

Mistress Cat went down, and sent the wooer away. 

Soon after this there was knocking again, and another Fox 
appeared at the door, who wished to pay his addresses to Mrs. 
Reynard. He had two tails, but he came off no better than 
the first. Afterwards others came, each with one tail more ; 
but they were all rejected, till at last one came that had nine 
tails like old ]Mr. Reynard. 

When the widow heard this, full of joy, she said to the Cat — 

* (Jpen the gates and doors ; be swift. 
Old Mr. Reynard turn adrift.' 

But when the wedding was about to be celebrated, then old 
Mr. Reynard under the bank roused himself, and gave the 
whole crew a good drubbing, and sent them, Mrs. Reynard and 
all, helter-skelter out of the house. 

Second Tale 

When old Mr. Reynard really died, the Wolf came as a suitor, 
and knocked at the door, and the Cat who acted as servant to 
Mrs. Reynard, opened it. 

The Wolf greeted her, and said — 

' Good-day, Miss Cat, of sprightly wit. 
How comes it that alone you sit "^ 
What are you making there, so good .'' ' 

The Cat answered — 

' Tumbling milk and butter up. 
Will your Lordship have a sup r 



' Thank you kindly, Mistress Cat. Mistress Reynard is not 
at home, I suppose.' 

' Upstairs in iier chamber she sits, 
And weeps as her sorrow befits. 
Her sad case she doth much deplore, 
Because j\Ir. Reynard 's no more.'' 

The Wolf answered — 

' " If now she wants to wed again, 
She must come down the stairs, 'tis plain." 
The Cat ran up without delay. 
Nor did her claws their clatter stay 
Until she reached the long saloon. 
There, tapping with her five gold rings, 
" Is Mrs. Reynard in ? " she sings. 
" If now she wants to wed again. 
She must come down the stairs, 'tis plain." ' 

Mrs. Reynard asked : ' Does the gentleman wear red 
breeches, and has he a pointed muzzle ? ' 

' No,' answered the Cat. 

' Then he is no use to me.' 

When the Wolf was rejected, there came a Dog, a Stag, a 
Hare, a Bear, and one after another every sort of wild animal. 
But in every one there was wanting some of the good qvialities 
which old Mr. Reynard had possessed, and the Cat was obliged 
to dismiss the suitors every time. At last there came a young 
Fox. Then Mrs. Reynard asked : ' Does the gentleman wear 
red breeches, and has he got a pointed muzzle ? ' 

' Yes,' said the Cat. ' He has both.' 

' Then let him come up,' said Mrs. Reynard, and ordered 
the maid to make ready the wedding feast. 

' Now, Cat, set to and sweep the room. 
Then fling the old Fox from the house ; 
Bring in many a good fat mouse, 
But eat them all yourself alone. 
Nor give your mistress e'er a one.' - 



Then the wedding with young Mr. Fox was held, and there 
was merry-making and dancing, and if they haven't stopped, 
they are dancing still. 

Does the gentleman wear red breeches, 
and has he a pointed muzzle? 


The Salad 

THERE was once a merry young Huntsman, who went 
into the forest to hunt. He was gay and Hght- 
hearted, and whistled a tune upon a leaf as he went 

Suddenly an ugly old Crone spoke to him, and said : 
' Good morning, dear Huntsman ; you are merry and happy 
enough, while I am hungry and thirsty. Pray give me an 

The Huntsman pitied the poor Old Woman, put his hand 
in his pocket, and made her a present according to his means. 

Then he wanted to go on. But the Old Woman held him 
back, and said : ' Hark ye, dear Huntsman, I Avill make you a 
present because of your good heart. Go on your way, and you 
will come to a tree, on which nine birds are sitting. They will 
have a cloak in their claws, over which they are fighting. 
Take aim with your gim, and shoot into the middle of them. 
They will drop the cloak, and one of the birds will fall down 
dead. Take the cloak with you, it is a wishing-cloak. ^Vhen 
you throw it round your shoulders you only have to wish your- 
self at a place to be there at once. Take the heart out of the 
dead bird and swallow it whole, then you will find a gold coin 
under your pillow every single morning when you wake.' 

The Huntsman thanked the Wise Woman, and thought : 
' She promises fine things, if only they turn out as well.' 

When he had gone about a hundred paces, he heard above 
him, in the branches of a tree, such a chattering and screaming 
that he looked up. 

There he saw a flock of birds tearing a garment with their 


beaks and claws ; snatching and tearing at it as if each one 
wanted to have it for himself. 

' Well,' said the Huntsman, ' this is extraordinary, it is 
exactly what the Old Woman said.' 

He put his gun to his shoulder, took aim and fired right into 
the middle of them, making the feathers fly about. 

The birds took flight with a great noise, all except one, 
which fell down dead, and the cloak dropped at his feet. 

He did as the Old Woman had told him, cut the heart out 
of the bird and swallowed it whole. Then he took the cloak 
home with him. 

When he woke in the morning, he remembered the Old 
Woman's promise, and looked under his 
pillow to see if it was true. 

There, sure enough, lay the golden 
coin shining before him, and the next 
morning he found another, and the same 
every morning when he got up. 

He collected quite a heap of gold, and 
at last he thought : ' What is the good of 
all my gold if I stay at home here ? I 
will go and look about me in the world.' 

So he took leave of his parents, 
shouldered his gun, and started off into 
the world. 

It so happened that one day he came 
to a thick forest, and when he got through it, he saw a fine 
castle lying in the plain beyond. 

He saw an Old Woman standing in one of the windows 
looking out, with a beautiful Maiden beside her. 

But the Old Woman was a witch, and she said to the 
Maiden : ' Here comes some one out of the forest. He has a 
wonderful treasure inside him ; we must try to get it from him, 
my darling, it will suit us better than him. He has a bird's 
heart about him, and therefore he finds a gold coin every 
morning under his pillow when he wakes.' 


But the 01(1 ^\'oman 
was a witch. 


She told the girl how he had got it, and at last said : ' If 
you don't get it from him, it will be the worse for you.' 

When the Huntsman got nearer, he saw the Maiden, and 
said : ' I have been wandering about for a long time, I will go 
into this castle and take a rest. I have plenty of money.' 

But the real reason was that he had caught sight of the 
pretty picture at the window. He went in, and he was kindly 
received and hospitably treated. 

Before long, he was so enamoured of the Witch-Maiden that 
he thought of nothing else, and cared for nothing but pleasing 

The Old Woman said to the Maiden : ' Now we must get the 
bird's heart, he will never miss it.' 

They concocted a potion, and when it was ready they put 
it into a goblet. 

And the Maiden took it to him, and said : ' Noav, my 
beloved, you must drink to me.' 

He took the cup and drank the potion, and when he was 
overpowered by it the bird's heart came out of his mouth. 

The Maiden took it away secretly and swallowed it herself, 
for the Old Woman wanted to have it. 

From this time the Huntsman found no more gold under 
his pillow ; but the coin was always under the Maiden's instead, 
and the Old Woman used to fetch it away every morning. 

But he was so much in love, that he thought of nothing but 
enjoying himself in the Maiden's company. 

Then the Old Woman said : ' We have got the bird's heart, 
but we must have his wishing-cloak too.' 

The Maiden said : ' Let us leave him that ; we have taken 
away his wealth.' 

The Old Woman was very angry, and said : ' A cloak like 
that is a very wonderful thing, and not often to be got. Have 
it I must, and will ! ' 

So she obeyed the Witch's orders, placed herself at the 
window, and looked sadly out at the distant hills. 

The Huntsman said : ' Why are you so sad ? ' 


' Alas ! my love,' was her answer, ' over there are the garnet 
mountains, where the precious stones are found. I long for 
them so much that I grow sad whenever I think of them. But 
who could ever get them ? The birds which fly, perhaps ; no 
mortal could ever reach them.' 

' If that is all your trouble,' said the Huntsman, ' I can soon 
lift that load from your heart.' 

Then he drew her under his cloak, and in a moment they 
were both sitting on the mountain. The precious stones were 
glittering around them ; their hearts rejoiced at the sight of 
them, and they soon gathered together some of the finest and 

Now the Witch had so managed that the Huntsman began 
to feel his eyes grow very heavy. 

So he said to the Maiden : ' We will sit down to rest a while, 
I am so tired I can hardly stand.' 

So they sat down, and he laid his head on her lap and was 
soon fast asleep. 

As soon as he was asleep, the Maiden slipped the cloak from 
his shoulders and put it on her own, loaded herself with the 
precious garnets, and wished herself at home. 

When the Huntsman had had his sleep out, he woke up 
and saw that his beloved had betrayed him, and left him alone 
on the wild mountain. 

' Oh, what treachery there is in the world ! ' he exclaimed, 
as he sat down in grief, and did not know what to do. 

Now the mountain belonged to some wild and savage 
Giants who lived on it, and before long he saw three of them 
striding along. 

He quickly lay down again and pretended to be fast asleep. 

The first one, as he came along, stumbled against him, and 
said : ' What kind of earthworm is this ? ' 

The second said : ' Tread on him and kill him.' 

But the third said : ' It isn't worth the trouble. Let him 
alone, — he can't live here ; and when he climbs higher up the 
mountain, the clouds will roll down and carry him off.' 



Then they passed on, and as soon as they were gone, the 
Huntsman, who had heard all they said, got up and climbed 
up to the top of the mountain. 

After he had sat there for a time, a cloud floated over him, 
and carried him away. 

At first he was swept through the air, but then he was 
gently lowered and deposited within a large walled garden, 
upon a soft bed of lettuces and other herbs. 

He looked around him and said : ' If only I had something 
to eat ; I am so hungry. And it will be difficult to get away 
from here. I see neither apples nor pears, nor any other fruit, 
nothing but salad and herbs.' 

At last, however, he thought : ' At the worst, I can eat some 
of this salad ; it does not taste very good, but it will, at least, 
be refreshing.' 

He picked out a fine head of lettuce, and began eating it. 
But he had hardly swallowed a little piece, when he began to 
feel very odd, and quite changed. He felt four legs growing, 
a big head, and two long ears, and he saw to his horror that he 
was changed into an ass. 

As he at the same time felt as hungry as ever, and the 
juicy salad was now very much to his taste, he went on eating 

At last he reached another kind of salad, which he had 
hardly tasted when he felt a new change taking place, and 
found himself back in his human shape. 

After this he lay down and slept off his fatigue. 

When he woke next morning he broke off a head of the bad 
salad, and a head of the good, and thought : ' These will help 
me to regain my own, and also to punish the traitors.' 

He put the salad into his wallet, climbed over the wall, and 
went off to find the castle of his beloved. 

After wandering about for a few days, he was fortunate 
enough to find it. Then he stained his face, and disguised 
himself so that his own mother would not have known him, 
and went to the castle to ask for shelter. 


' I am so tired,' he said ; ' I cannot go any further.' 

The Witch said : ' Who are you, countryman, and what do 
you want ? ' 

He answered : ' I am a messenger from the King. He sent 
me to find the rarest salad which grows under the sun. I have 
been lucky enough to find it, and I carry it with me. But the 
sun is so burning, that I am afraid the tender plant will be 
withered, and I don't know if I shall be able to take it any 

When the Old Witch heard about the rare salad, she felt a 
great desire to have some, and said : ' Good countryman, let 
me try the wonderful salad ! ' 

' By all means,' he answered. ' I have two heads with me, 
and you shall have one.' So saying, he opened his sack, and 
handed her the bad one. 

The Witch had no suspicions, and her mouth so watered 
for the new dish, that she went to the kitchen herself to pre- 
pare it. 

When it was ready, she could not wait till it was put upon 
the table, but put a few leaves into her mouth at once. 

Hardly had she swallowed them, when she lost her human 
shape, and ran out into the courtyard, as an old she-ass. 

Then the Maid came into the kitchen, saw the salad standing 
ready, and was about to put it on the table. But on the way 
the fancy seized her to taste it, according to her usual habit, 
and she ate a few leaves. 

The power of the salad at once became apparent, because 
she also turned into an ass, and ran out into the yard to join the 
Old Witch, while the dish of salad fell to the ground. 

In the meantime the messenger was sitting with the 
beautiful Maiden, and as no one appeared with the salad, she 
also was seized with a desire to taste it, and said : ' I don't 
know what has become of the salad.' 

But the Huntsman thought : ' The plant must have done 
its work,' and said : ' I will go into the kitchen and 



As soon as he got downstairs he saw the two asses running 
about, and the salad lying on the ground. 

' This is all right ! ' he said ; ' two of them are done for.' 

Then he picked up the leaves, put them on a dish, and took 
them to the Maiden. 

' I am bringing the precious food to you myself,' said he, 
' so that you may not have to wait any longer.' 

She ate some, and, like the others, was immediately changed 
into an ass, and ran out to them in the yard. 

■■ ^^^mw^-^' 


He tied them all together and drove tliem aloiii^ till he came to a mill. 

When the Huntsman had washed his face so that the 
transformed creatures might know him, he went into the court- 
yard, and said : ' Now, you shall be paid for your treachery.' 

He tied them all together with a rope, and drove them along 
till he came to a mill. He tapped at the window, and the 
Miller put his head out and asked what he wanted. 


' I have three bad animals here,' he said, ' that I want to get 
rid of. If you will take them and feed them, and treat them as 
I wish, I will pay you what you like to ask.' 

' Why not ? ' said the Miller. ' How do you want them 
treated ? ' 

The Huntsman said he wanted the old she-ass (the Witch) 
to be well beaten three times a day and fed once. The younger 
one, which was the Maid, beaten once and fed three times. 
The youngest of all, who was the beautiful Maiden, was to be 
fed three times, and not beaten at all ; he could not find it in 
his heart to have her beaten. 

Then he went back to the castle and found everything he 
wanted in it. 

A few days later the Miller came and told him that the old 
ass which was to be beaten three times and fed once, was dead. 
' The other two,' he said, ' which are to be fed three times, are 
not dead, but they are pining away, and won't last long.' 

The Hiintsman's heart was stirred with pity, and he told 
the Miller to bring them back to him. 

\'VQien they came he gave them some of the other salad to 
eat, so that they took their human shapes again. 

The beautiful Maiden fell on her knees before him, and said : 
' O my beloved, forgive me all the wrong I have done you. 
My mother forced me to do it. It was against my own will, 
for I love you dearly. Your wishing-cloak is hanging in the 
cupboard, and you shall have the bird's heart back too.' 

But he said : ' Keep it ; it will be all the same, as I will 
take you to be my own true wife.' 

Their marriage was soon after celebrated, and they lived 
happily together till they died. 


The Youth who could not Shudder 

THERE was once a Father who had two sons. One 
was clever and sensible, and always knew how to get 
on. But the younger one was stupid, and could not 
learn anything, and he had no imagination. 

When people saw him, they said : ' His Father will have 
plenty of trouble with him.' 

Whenever there was anything to be done, the eldest one 
always had to do it. But if his Father sent him to fetch am^- 
thing late in the evening, or at night, and the way lay through 
the churchyard, or any other dreary place, he would answer : 
' Oh no, Father, not there ; it makes me shudder ! ' For he 
was afraid. 

In the evening, when stories were being told round the fire 
which made one's flesh creep, and the listeners said : ' Oh, you 
make me shudder ! ' the youngest son, sitting in the corner 
listening, could not imagine what they meant. ' They always 
say " It makes me shudder ! It makes me shvidder ! " And 
it doesn't make me shudder a bit. It must be some art Avhich 
I can't understand.' 

Now it happened one day that his Father said to him : 
' I say, you in the corner there, you are growing big and strong. 
You must learn something by which you can make a living. 
See what pains your brother takes, but you are not worth your 

' Well, Father,' he answered, ' I am quite ready to learn 
something ; nay, I should very much like to learn how to 
shudder, for I know nothing about that.' 

The elder son laughed when he heard him, and thought : 


' Good heavens ! what a fool my brother is ; he will never do 
any good as long as he lives.' 

But his Father sighed, and answered : ' You will easily 
enough learn how to shudder, but you won't make your bread 
by it.' 

Soon after, the Sexton came to the house on a visit, and the 
Father confided his troubles about his son to him. He told 
him how stupid he was, and how he never could learn anything. 
' Would you believe that when I asked him how he was going 
to make his living, he said he would like to learn how to 
shudder ? ' 

' If that 's all,' said the Sexton, ' he may learn that from me. 
Just let me have him, and I '11 soon put the polish on him.' 

The Father was pleased, for he thought : ' Anyhow, the 
Lad will gain something by it.' 

So the Sexton took him home with him, and he had to ring 
the church bells. 

A few days after, the Sexton woke him at midnight, and 
told him to get up and ring the bells. ' You shall soon be taught 
how to shudder ! ' he thought, as he crept stealthily up the 
stairs beforehand, 

WTien the Lad got up into the tower, and turned round to 
catch hold of the bell rope, he saw a white figure standing on 
the steps opposite the belfry window. 

' Who is there ? ' he cried ; but the figure neither moved 
nor answered. 

' Answer,' cried the Lad, ' or get out of the way. You 
have no business here in the night.' 

But so that the Lad should think he was a ghost, the 
Sexton did not stir. 

The Lad cried for the second time : ' What do you want 
here ? Speak if you are an honest fellow, or I '11 throw you 
down the stairs.' 

The Sexton did not think he would go to such lengths, so 
he made no sound, and stood as still as if he were made of stone. 

Then the Lad called to him the third time, and, as he had 



no answer, he took a run and threw the ghost down the stairs. 
It fell down ten steps, and remained lying in a corner. 

Then he rang the bells, went home, and, without saying a 
word to anybody, went to bed and was soon fast asleep. 

The Sexton's wife waited a long time for her husband, but, 
as he never came back, she got frightened, and woke up the 

' Don't you know what has become of my husband ? ' she 
asked. ' He went up into the church tower before you.' 

' No,' answered the Lad. ' There was somebody standing 
on the stairs opposite the belfry window, and, as he would 
neither answer me nor go away, I took him to be a rogue and 
threw him downstairs. Go and see if it was your husband ; I 
should be sorry if it were.' 

The woman hurried away and found her husband lying in 
the corner, moaning, with a broken leg. She carried him down, 
and then hastened with loud cries to the Lad's father. 

' Your son has brought about a great misfortune ; he has 
thrown my husband downstairs and broken his leg. Take the 
good-for-nothing fellow aAvay, out of our house.' 

The Father was horrified, and, going back with her, gave 
the Lad a good scolding. 

' What is the meaning of this inhuman prank ? The evil 
one must have put it into your head.' 

' Father,' answered the Lad, ' just listen to me. I am 
quite innocent. He stood there in the dark, like a man with 
some wicked design. I did not know who it was, and I warned 
him three times to speak, or to go away ! ' 

' Alas ! ' said his Father, ' you bring me nothing but 
disaster. Go away out of my sight. I will have nothing more 
to do with you.' 

' Gladly, Father. Only wait till daylight ; then I will go 
away, and learn to shudder. Then, at least, I shall have one 
art to make my living by.' 

' Learn what you like,' said his Father. ' It 's all the same 
to me. Here are fifty thalers for you. Go out into the world, 


and don't tell a creature where yovi come from, or who your 
Father is, for you will only bring me to shame.' 

' Just as you please. Father. If that is all you want, I 
can easily fulfil your desire.' 

At daybreak, the Lad put his fifty thalers into his pocket, 
and went out along the high road, repeating over and over to 
himself as he went : ' If only I could shudder, if only I could 

A Man came by and overheard the words the Lad was 
saying to himself, and when they had gone a little further, and 
came within sight of the gallows, he said : ' See, there is the 
tree where those seven have been wedded to the ropemaker's 
daughter, and are now learning to fly. Sit down below them, 
and when night comes you will soon learn to shudder.' 

' If nothing more than that is needed,' said the Lad, ' it is 
easily done. And if I learn to shudder as easily as that, you 
shall have my fifty thalers. Come back to me early to-morrow 

Then the Lad went up to the gallows, and sat down under 
them to wait till night came. 

As he was cold he lighted a fire, but at midnight the wind 
grew so cold that he did not know how to keep himself warrh. 

The wind blew the men on the gallows backwards and 
forwards, and swung them against each other, so he thought : 
' Here am I freezing by the fire, how inuch colder they must be 
up there.' 

And as he was very compassionate, he mounted the ladder, 
undid them, and brought all seven down one by one. 

Then he blew up the fire, and placed them round it to warm 

They sat there and never moved, even when the fire caught 
their clothing. 

' Take care, or I will hang you all up again.' 

The dead men, of course, could not hear, and remained 
silent while their few rags were burnt up. 

Then he grew angry, and said : ' If you won't take care of 



yourselves, I can't help you, and I won't be burnt with 

So he hung them all up again in a row, and sat down by the 
fire and went to sleep again. 

Next morning, the Man, wanting to get his fifty thalers, 
came to him and said : ' Now do you know what shuddering 
means ? ' 

' No,' he said ; ' how should I have learnt it ? Those 
fellows up there never opened their mouths, and they were so 
stupid that they let the few poor rags they had about them 

Then the Man saw that no thalers would be his that day, 
and he went away, saying : ' Never in my life have I seen such 
a fellow as this.' 

The Lad also went on his way, and again began saying to 
himself : ' Oh, if only I could learn to shudder, if only I could 
learn to shudder.' 

A Carter, walking behind him, heard this, and asked : ' Who 
are you ? ' 

' I don't know,' answered the Youth. 

' Who is your Father ? ' 

' That I must not say.' 

' What are you always mumbling in your beard ? ' 

' Ah,' answered the Youth, ' I want to learn to shudder, 
but no one can teach me.' 

' Stop your silly chatter,' said the Carter. ' Just you come 
with me, and I '11 see that you have what you want.' 

The Youth went with the Carter, and in the evening they 
reached an inn, where they meant to pass the night. He said 
quite loud, as they entered : ' Oh, if only I could learn to 
shudder, if only I could learn to shudder.' 

The Landlord, who heard him, laughed, and said : ' If 
that 's what you want, there should be plenty of opportunity 
for you here.' 

' I Avill have nothing to say to it,' said the Landlady. ' So 
many a prying fellow has already paid the penalty with his life. 


It would be a sin and a shame if those bright eyes should not see 
the light of day again.' 

But the Youth said : ' I will learn it somehow, however 
hard it may be. I have been driven out for not knowing it.' 

He gave the Landlord no peace till he told him that there 
was an enchanted castle a little way off, where any one could 
be made to shudder, if he would pass three nights in it. 

The King had promised his daughter to wife to any one 
who dared do it, and she was the prettiest maiden the sun had 
ever shone on. 

There were also great treasures hidden in the castle, watched 
over by evil spirits, enough to make any poor man rich who 
could break the spell. 

Already many had gone in, but none had ever come out. 

Next morning the Youth went to the King, and said : 
' By your leave, I should like to pass three nights in the en- 
chanted castle.' 

The King looked at him, and, as he took a fancy to him, he 
said : ' You may ask three things to take into the castle with 
you, but they must be lifeless things.' 

He answered : ' Then I ask for a fire, a turning-lathe, and a 
cooper's bench with the knife.' 

The King had all three carried into the castle for him. 

When night fell, the Youth went up to the castle and made 
a bright fire in one of the rooms. He put the cooper's bench 
with the knife near the fire, and seated himself on the turning- 

' Oh, if only I could shudder,' he said ; ' but I shan't learn 
it here either.' 

Towards midnight he wanted to make up the fire, and, as he 
was blowing it up, something in one corner began to shriek : 
' Miau, miau, how cold we are ! ' 

' You fools ! ' he cried. ' What do you shriek for ? If you 
are cold, come and warm yourselves by the fire.' 

As he spoke, two big black cats bounded up and sat down, 
one on each side of him, and stared at him with wild, fiery eyes, 
u 305 


After a time, when they had warmed themselves, they 
said : ' Comrade, shall we have a game of cards ? ' 

' ^^^ly not ? ' he answered ; ' but show me your paws first.' 

Then they stretched out 
their claws. 

' Why,' he said, ' what 
long nails you 've got. Wait 
a bit ; I must cvit them for 

He seized them by the 
scruff of their necks, lifted 
them on to the cooper's bench, 
and screwed their paws firmly 
to it. 

Crowds of black cats and dogs swarmed out of every corner. 

' I have looked at your fingers, and the desire to play cards 
with you has passed.' 

Then he killed them and threw them out into the moat. 


But no sooner had he got rid of these two cats, and was 
about to sit do^\Ti by his fire again, than crowds of black cats 
and dogs swarmed out of ever\" comer, more and more of them. 

They howled horribly, and trampled on his fire, and tried 
to put it out. 

For a time he looked quietly on, but when it grew too bad 
he seized his cooper's knife, and cried : ' Away with you, you 
rascally pack,' and let fly among them right and left. Some 
of them sprang away, the others he killed, and threw them out 
into the water. 

When he came back he scraped the embers of his fire 
together again, and warmed himself. He could hardly keep 
his eyes open, and felt the greatest desire to go to sleep. He 
looked round, and in one corner he saw a big bed. 

' That 's the very thing,' he said, and lay down in it. As soon 
as he closed his eyes, the bed began to move, and soon it was 
tearing round and round the castle. ' Very good ! ' he said. 
' The faster the better ! ' The bed rolled on as if it were 
dragged by six horses ; over thresholds and stairs, up and 

Suddenly it went hop, hop, hop, and turned topsy-turvj^ 
so that it lay upon him like a mountain. But he pitched the 
pillows and blankets into the air, slipped out of it, and said : 
' Now any one may ride who likes.' 

Then he lay down by his fire and slept till daylight. 

In the morning the King came, and when he saw him lying 
on the floor, he thought the ghosts had killed him, and he was 
dead. So he said : ' It 's a sad pitv, for such a handsome 

But the Youth heard him, and sat up, saying : ' It has not 
come to that yet.' 

The King was surprised and delighted, and asked him how 
he had got on. 

' Pretty well ! ' he answered. ' One night is gone, I suppose 
I shall get through the others too.' 

\Vhen the Landlord saw him he opened his eyes, and said : 



' I never thought I should see you aUve again. Have you 
learnt how to shudder now ? ' 

' No,' he answered ; ' it 's all in vain. If only some one 
would tell me how.' 

The second night came, and up he went again and sat down 
by the fire, and began his old song : ' Oh, if only I could learn 
to shudder.' 

In the middle of the night a great noise and uproar began, 
first soft, and then growing louder ; then for a short time there 
would be silence. 

At last, with a loud scream, half the body of a man fell down 
the chimney in front of him. 

' Hullo ! ' he said, ' another half is wanting here ; this is 
too little.' 

The noise began again, and, amidst shrieks and howls, the 
other half fell down. 

' Wait a bit,' he said ; ' I '11 blow up the fire.' 

When this was done, and he looked round, the two halves 
had come together, and a hideous man sat in his place. 

' We didn't bargain for that,' said the Youth. ' The bench 
is mine.' 

The man wanted to push him out of the w^ay, but the 
Youth would not have it, flung him aside, and took his own 

Then more men fell down the chimney, one after the other, 
and they fetched nine human shin bones and two skulls, and 
began to play skittles. 

The Youth felt inclined to join them, and cried : ' I say, 
can I play too ? ' 

' Yes, if you 've got any money.' 

' Money enough,' he answered, ' but your balls aren't quite 

Then he took the skulls and turned them on the lathe till 
they were quite round. ' Now they will roll better,' he said. 
' Here goes ! The more, the merrier ! ' 

So he played with them, and lost some money, but when it 


struck twelve everything disappeared. He lay down, and was 
soon fast asleep. 

Next morning the King came again to look after him, and 
said : ' Well, how did you get on this time ? ' 

' I played skittles,' he answered, ' and lost a few coins.' 

' Didn't you learn to shudder ? ' 

' Not I. I only made merry. Oh, if I could but find out 
how to shudder.' 

On the third night he again sat down on his bench, and said 
quite savagely : ' If only I could shudder ! ' 

When it grew late, six tall men came in, carrying a bier, and 
he said : ' Hullo there ! That must be my cousin who died a 
few days ago.' And he beckoned and said : ' Come along, 
cousin, come along.' 

The men put the coffin on the floor, and he went up and took 
the lid off, and there lay a dead man. He felt the face, and it 
was as cold as ice. ' Wait,' he said ; ' I will warm him.' 

Then he went to the fire and warmed his hand, and laid it 
on his face, but the dead man remained cold. He took him 
out of the coffin, sat down by the fire, and took him on his 
knees, and rubbed his arms to make the blood circulate. 

But it was all no good. Next, it came into his head that if 
two people were in bed together, they warmed each other. So 
he put the dead man in the bed, covered him up, and lay down 
beside him. 

After a time the dead man grew warm, and began to move. 

Then the Youth said : ' There, you see, cousin mine, have 
I not warmed you ? ' 

But the Man rose up, and cried : ' Now, I will strangle 
you! ' 

' What ! ' said he, ' are those all the thanks I get. Back 
you go into your coffin then.' So saying, he hfted him up, 
threw him in, and fastened down the lid. Then the six men 
came back and carried the coffin away. 

' I cannot shudder,' he said ; ' and I shall never learn it 



Just then a huge Man appeared. He was frightful to look 
at, old, and with a long white beard. 

' Oh, you miserable wight ! ' he cried. ' You shall soon 
learn what shuddering is, for you shall die.' 

' Not so fast,' said the Youth. ' If I am to die, I must be 

' I will make short work of you,' said the old monster. 

' Softly ! softly ! don't you boast. I am as strong as you, 
and very likely much stronger.' 

' We shall see about that,' said the Old Man. ' If you are 
the stronger, I will let you go. Come ; we will try.' 

Then he led him through numberless dark passages to a 
smithy, took an axe, and with one blow struck one of the anvils 
into the earth. 

' I can better that,' said the Youth, and went to the other 
anvil. The Old Man placed himself near to see, and his white 
beard hung over. 

Then the Youth took the axe and split the anvil with one 
blow, catching in the Old Man's beard at the same time. 

' Now, I have you fast,' said the Youth, ' and you will be 
the one to die.' 

Then he seized an iron rod, and belaboured the Old Man 
with it, till he shrieked for mercy, and promised him great 
riches if he would stop. 

Then the Youth pulled out the axe and released him, and 
the Old Man led him back into the castle, and showed him 
three chests of gold in a cellar. 

' One is for the poor,' he said, ' one for the King, and one for 

The clock struck twelve, and the ghost disappeared, leaving 
the Youth in the dark. 

' I must manage to get out somehow,' he said, and groped 
about till he found his way back to his room, where he lay 
down by the fire and went to sleep. 

Next morning the King came and said : ' Now you must 
have learnt how to shudder.' 


' No,' said he. ' ^Vllat can it be ? My dead cousin was 
there, and an Old Man with a beard came and showed me a lot 
of gold. But what shuddering is, that no man can tell me.' 

Then said the King : ' You have broken the spell on the 
castle, and you shall marry my daughter.' 

' That is all very well,' he said ; ' but still I don't know 
what shuddering is.' 

The gold was got out of the castle, and the marriage was 
celebrated, but, happy as the young King was, and much as 
he loved his wife, he was always saying : ' Oh, if only I could 
learn to shudder, if only I could learn to shudder.' 

At last his wife was vexed by it, and her waiting-woman 
said : ' I can help you ; he shall be taught the meaning of 

And she went out to the brook which ran through the garden 
and got a pail full of cold water and little fishes. 

At night, when the young King was asleep, his wife took 
the coverings off and poured the cold water over him, and all 
the little fishes flopped about him. 

Then he woke up, and cried : ' Oh, how I am shuddering, 
dear wife, how I am shuddering ! Now I know what shudder- 
ing is ! ' 


King Thrushbeard 

THERE was once a King who had a Daughter. She was 
more beautiful than words can tell, but at the same 
time so proud and haughty that no man who came to 
woo her was good enough for her. She turned away one after 
another, and even mocked them. 

One day her father ordered a great feast to be given, and 
invited to it all the marriageable young men from far and 

They were all placed in a row, according to their rank and 
position. First came Kings, then Princes, then Dukes, Earls, 
and Barons. 

The Princess was led through the ranks, but she had some 
fault to find with all of them. 

One was too stout. ' That barrel ! ' she said. The next 
was too tall. ' Long and lean is no good ! ' The third was 
too short. ' Short and stout, can't turn about ! ' The fourth 
was too white. ' Pale as death ! ' The fifth was too red. 
' Turkey-cock ! ' The sixth was not straight. ' Oven-dried ! ' 

So there was something against each of them. Bvit she 
made specially merry over one good King, who stood quite at 
the head of the row, and whose chin was a little hooked. 

' Why ! ' she cried, ' he has a chin like the beak of a thrush.' 

After that, he was always called ' King Thrushbeard.' 

When the old King saw that his Daughter only made fun of 
them, and despised all the suitors who were assembled, he was 
very angry, and swore that the first beggar who came to the 
door should be her husband. 

A few days after, a wandering Musician began to sing at the 
window, hoping to receive charity. 

When the King heard him, he said : ' Let him be brought 



The Musician came in, dressed in dirty rags, and sang to the 
King and his Daughter, and when he had finished, he begged 
ahns of them. 

The King said : ' Your song has pleased me so much, that 
I will give you my Daughter to be your wife.' 

The Princess was horror-stricken. But the King said : 
' I have sworn an oath to give you to the first beggar who 
came ; and I will keep my word.' 

No entreaties were of any avail. A Parson was brought, 
and she had to marry the Musician there and then. 

When the marriage was completed, the King said : ' Now 
yovi are a beggar-woman, you can't stay in my castle any 
longer. You must go away with your Husband.' 

The Beggar took her by the hand and led her away, and she 
was obliged to go with him on foot. 

When they came to a big wood, she asked : 

' Ah ! who is the Lord of this forest so fine ? ' 

' It belongs to King Thrushbeard. It might have been thine, 

If his Qaeen you had been.' 

' Ah ! sad must I sing ! 

I would I 'd accepted the liand of the King.' 

After that they reached a great meadow, and she asked 
again : 

' Ah ! wlio is the Lord of these meadows so fine ?' 

' They belong to King Thrushbeard, and would have been thine, 

If his Queen you liad been.' 

' Ah ! sad must I sing ! 

I would I 'd accepted the love of tlie King.' 

Then they passed through a large town, and again she 
asked : 

' Ah ! who is the Lord of this city so fine ? ' 

' It belongs to King Thrushbeard, and it might have been thine. 

If his Queen you had been.' 

' Ah ! sad nuist I sing ! 

I would I'd accepted the heart of the King.' 



' It doesn't please me at all,' said the Musician, ' that you 
are always wishing for another husband. Am I not good 
enough for you ? ' 

At last they came to a miserable little hovel, and she said : 

' Ah, heavens ! whafs this liouse, so mean and small ? 
This wretched little hut's no house at all.' 

The Musician answered : ' This is my house, and yours ; 
where we are to live together.' 

The door was so low that she had to stoop to get in. 

' Where are the servants ? ' asked the Princess. 

' Servants indeed ! ' answered the Beggar. ' Whatever you 
want done, you must do for yourself. Light the fire, and put 
the kettle on to make my supper. I am very tired.' 

But the Princess knew nothing about lighting fires or cook-, 
ing, and to get it done at all, the Beggar had to do it himself. 

When they had finished their humble fare, they went to 
bed. But in the morning the Man made her get up very early 
to do the housework. 

They lived like this for a few days, till they had eaten up 
all their store of food. 

Then the Man said : ' Wife, this won't do any longer ; we 
can't live here without working. You shall make baskets.' 

So he went out and cut some osiers, and brought them 
home. She began to weave them, but the hard osiers bruised 
her tender hands. 

' I see that won't do,' said the Beggar. ' You had better 
spin ; perhaps you can manage that.' 

So she sat down and tried to spin, but the harsh yarn soon 
cut her delicate fingers and made them bleed. 

' Now you see,' said the Man, ' what a good-for-nothing you 
are. I have made a bad bargain in you. But I will try to 
start a trade in earthenware. You must sit in the market and 
offer your goods for sale.' 

' Alas ! ' she thought, ' if any of the people from my father's 
kingdom come and see me sitting in the market-place, offering 


goods for sale, they will scoff at me.' But it was no good. She 
had to obey, unless she meant to die of hunger. 

All went well the first time. The people willingly bought 
her wares because she was so handsome, and they paid what she 
asked them — nay, some even gave her the money and left her 
the pots as well. 

They Kved on the gains as long as they lasted, and then the 
Man laid in a new stock of wares. 

She took her seat in a corner of the market, set out her 
crockery about her, and began to cry her wares. 

Suddenly, a drunken Hussar came galloping up, and rode 
right in among the pots, breaking them into thousands of bits. 

She began to cry, and was so frightened that she did not 
know what to do. ' Oh ! what will become of me ? ' she cried. 
' What will my Husband say to me ? ' She ran home, and told 
him her misfortune. 

' Who would ever think of sitting at the corner of the market 
with crockery ? ' he said, ' Stop that crying. I see you are no 
manner of use for any decent kind of work. I have been to our 
King's palace, and asked if they do not want a kitchen wench, 
and they have promised to try you. You will get your 
victuals free, at any rate.' 

So the Princess became a kitchen wench, and had to wait 
upon the Cook and do all the dirty work. She fixed a pot into 
each of her pockets, and in them took home her share of the 
scraps and leavings, and upon these they lived. 

It so happened that the marriage of the eldest Princess just 
then took place, and the poor Woman went upstairs and stood 
behind the door to peep at all the splendour. 

When the rooms were lighted up, and she saw the guests 
streaming in, one more beautiful than the other, and the scene 
grew more and more brilliant, she thought, with a heavy heart, 
of her sad fate. She cursed the pride and haughtiness which 
had been the cause of her humiliation, and of her being brought 
to such depths. 

Every now and then the Servants would throw her bits from 



the savoury dishes they were carrying away from the feast, and 
these she put into her pots to take home with her. 

All at once the King's son came in. He was dressed in silk 
and velvet, and he had a golden chain round his neck. 

When he saw the beautiful Woman standing at the door, 
he seized her by the hand, and wanted to dance with her. 

But she shrank and refused, because she saw that it was 
King Thrushbeard, who had been one of the suitors for her 
hand, and whom she had most scornfully driven away. 

Her resistance was no use, and he dragged her into the hall. 
The string by which her pockets were suspended broke. Down 
fell the pots, and the soup and savoury morsels were spilt all 
over the floor. 

When the guests saw it, they burst into shouts of mocking 

She was so ashamed, that she would gladly have sunk into 
the earth. She rushed to the door, and tried to escape, but on 
the stairs a Man stopped her and brought her back. 

When she looked at him, it was no other than King Thrush- 
beard again. 

He spoke kindly to her, and said : ' Do not be afraid. I 
and the Beggar-Man, who lived in the poor Uttle hovel with 
you, are one and the same. For love of you I disguised myself ; 
and I was also the Hussar who rode among your pots. All this 
I did to bend your proud spirit, and to punish you for the 
haughtiness with which you mocked me.' 

She wept bitterly, and said : ' I was very wicked, and I am 
not worthy to be your wife.' 

But he said : ' Be happy ! Those evil days are over. 
Now we will celebrate our true wedding.' 

The waiting- women came and put rich clothing' upon her, 
and her Father, with all his Court, came and wished her joy on 
her marriage with King Thrushbeard. 

Then, in truth, her happiness began. I wish we had been 
there to see it, you and I. 


Iron Hans 

THERE was once a King whose castle was surrounded 
by a forest full of game. One day he sent a Hunts- 
man out to shoot a deer, but he never came back. 

' Perhaps an accident has happened to him,' said the King. 

Next day he sent out two more Huntsmen to look for him, 
but they did not return either. On the third day he sent for 
all his Huntsmen, and said to them, ' Search the whole forest 
without ceasing, until you have found all three.' 

But not a single man of all these, or one of the pack of 
hounds they took with them, ever came back. From this time 
forth no one would venture into the forest ; so there it lay, 
wrapped in silence and solitude, with only an occasional eagle 
or hawk circling over it. 

This continued for several years, and then one day a strange 
Huntsman sought an audience of the King, and offered to 
penetrate into the dangerous wood. The King, however, 
would not give him permission, and said, ' It 's not safe, and I 
am afraid if you go in that you will never come out again, any 
more than all the others.' 

The Huntsman answered, ' Sire, I will take the risk upon 
myself. I do not know fear.' 

So the Huntsman went into the wood with his Dog. 
Before long the Dog put up some game, and wanted to chase it ; 
but hardly had he taken a few steps when he came to a deep 
pool, and could go no further, A naked arm appeared out of 
the water, seized him, and drew him down. 

When the Huntsman saw this, he went back and fetched 
three men with pails to empty the pool. Wlien they got to the 
bottom they found a Wild Man, whose body was as brown as 
rusty iron, and his hair hanging down over his face to his 



knees. They bound him with cords, and carried him away to 
the castle. There was great excitement over the Wild Man, 
and the King had an iron cage made for him in the courtyard. 
He forbade any one to open the door of the cage on pain of 
death, and the Queen had to keejD the key in her own charge. 
After this, anybody could walk in the forest with safety. 
The King had a little son eight years old, and one day he 
was playing in the courtyard. In his play his golden ball fell 
into the cage. The boy ran up, and said, ' Give me back my 

' Not until you have opened the door,' said the Wild Man. 
' No ; I can't do that,' said the boy. ' My father has 
forbidden it,' and then he ran away. 

Next day he came again, and asked for his ball. The Man 
said, ' Open my door ' ; but he would not. 

On the third day the King went out hunting, and the boy 
came again, and said, ' Even if I would, I could not open the 
door. I have not got the key.' 

Then the Wild Man said, ' It is lying under your mother's 
pillow. You can easily get it.' 

The boy, who was very anxious to have his ball back, threw 
his scruples to the winds, and fetched the key. The door was 
very stiff, and he pinched his fingers in opening it. As soon as 
it was open the Wild Man came out, gave the boy his ball, and 
hurried away. The boy was now very frightened, and cried 
out, ' O Wild Man, don't go away, or I shall be beaten ! ' 

The Wild Man turned back, picked up the boy, put him on 
his shoulder, and walked hurriedly off into the wood. 

When the King came home he saw at once the cage was 
empty, and asked the Queen how it had come about. She 
knew nothing about it, and went to look for the key, which was 
of course gone. They called the boy, but there was no answer. 
The King sent people out into the fields to look for him, but all 
in vain ; he was gone. The King easily guessed what had 
happened, and great grief fell on the royal household. 

When the Wild Man got back into the depths of the dark 


forest he took the boy down off his shoulder, and said, ' You 
will never see your father and mother again ; but I will keep 
you here with me, because you had pity on me and set me free. 
If you do as you are told, you will be well treated, I have 
treasures and gold enough and to spare, more than anybody in 
the world.' 

He made a bed of moss for the boy, on which he went to 
sleep. Next morning the Man led him to a spring, and said, 
' You see this golden well is bright and clear as crystal ? You 
must sit by it, and take care that nothing falls into it, or it will 
be contaminated. I shall come every evening to see if you have 
obeyed my orders.' 

The boy sat down on the edge of the spring to watch it ; 
sometimes he would see a gold fish or a golden snake darting 
through it, and he guarded it well, so that nothing should fall 
into it. One day as he was sitting like this his finger pained him 
so much that involuntarily he dipped it into the water. He 
drew it out very quickly, but saw that it was gilded, and 
although he tried hard to clean it, it remained golden. In the 
evening Iron Hans came back, looked at the boy, and said, 
' What has happened to the well to-day ? ' 

' Nothing, nothing ! ' he answered, keeping his finger 
behind his back, so that Iron Hans should not see it. 

But he said, ' You have dipped your finger into the water. 
It does not matter this time, but take care that nothing of the 
kind occurs again.' 

Early next morning the boy took his seat by the spring 
again to watch. His finger still hurt very much, and he put his 
hand up above his head ; but, unfortunately, in so doing he 
brushed a hair into the well. He quickly took it out, but it 
was already gilded. When Iron Hans came in the evening, he 
knew very well what had happened. 

' You have let a hair fall into the well,' he said, ' I will 
overlook it once more, but if it happens for the third time, 
the well will be polluted, and you can no longer stay with me.' 

On the third day the boy again sat by the well ; but he took 



(rood care not to move a finger, however much it might hurt. 
The time seemed very long to him as he looked at his face 
reflected in the water. As he bent over further and further to 
look into his eyes, his long hair fell over his shoulder right into 
the water. He started up at once, but not before his whole 
head of hair had become golden, and glittered like the sun. 
You may imagine how frightened the poor boy was. He took 
his pocket-handkerchief and tied it over his head, so that Iron 
Hans should not see it. But he knew all about it before he 
came, and at once said, ' Take that handkerchief off your head,' 
and then all the golden hair tumbled out. All the poor boj^'s 
excuses were no good. ' You have not stood the test, and you 
can no longer stay here. You must go out into the world, and 
there you will learn the meaning of poverty. But as your heart 
is not bad, and as I wish you well, I will grant you one thing. 
^^1len you are in great need, go to the forest and cry " Iron 
Hans," and I will come and help you. My power is great, 
o-reater than you think, and I have gold and silver in abundance.' 

So the King's son left the forest, and wandered over trodden 
and untrodden paths till he reached a great city. He tried to 
get work, but he could not find any ; besides, he knew no trade 
by which to make a living. At last he went to the castle and 
asked if they would employ him. The courtiers did not know 
what use they could make of him, but they were taken with his 
appearance, and said he might stay. At last the Cook took 
him into his ser\dce, and said he might carry wood and water 
for him, and sweep up the ashes. 

One day, as there was no one else at hand, the Cook ordered 
him to carry the food up to the royal table. As he did not 
want his golden hair to be seen, he kept his cap on. Nothing of 
the sort had ever happened in the presence of the King before, 
and he said, ' When you come into the royal presence, you must 
take your cap off.' 

' Alas, Sire,' he said, ' I cannot take it off, I have a bad 
wound on my head.' 

Then the King ordered the Cook to be called, and asked how 


he could take such a boy into his service, and ordered him to 
be sent away at once. But the Cook was sorry for him, and 
exchanged him with the Gardener's boy. 

Now the boy had to dig and lioe, plant and water, in every 
kind of weather. One day in the summer, when he was work- 
ing alone in the garden, it was 
very hot, and he took off his 
cap for the fresh air to cool 
his head. When the sun 
shone on his hair it glittered 
so that the beams penetrated 
right into the Princess's bed- 
room, and she sprang up to 
see what it was. She dis- 
covered the youth, and called 
to him, ' Bring me a nosegay, 
young man.' 

He hurriedly put on his 
cap, picked a lot of wild 
flowers, and tied them up. 
On his way up to the Princess, 
the Gardener met him, and 
said, ' How can you take such 
poor flowers to the Princess ? 
Quickly cut another bouquet, 
and mind they are the choic- 
est and rarest flowers.' 

' Oh no,' said the youth. 
' The wild flowers have a 
sweeter scent, and will please 
her better.' 

As soon as he went into the room the Princess said, ' Take 
off your cap ; it is not proper for you to wear it before me.' 

He answered again, ' I may not take it off, because I have a 
wound on my head.' 

But she took hold of the cap, and pulled it off, and all his 
X 321 

She immediately clutched at his cap to pull it 
off; but he held it on with both hands. 


golden hair tumbled over his shoulders in a shower. It was 
quite a sight. He tried to get away, but she took hold of his 
arm, and gave him a handful of ducats. He took them, but 
he cared nothing for the gold, and gave it to the Gardener for 
his children to play with. 

Next day the Princess again called him to bring her a bunch 
of wild flowers, and when he brought it she immediately 
clutched at his cap to pull it off ; but he held it on with both 
hands. Again she gave him a handful of ducats, but he would 
not keep them, and gave them to the Gardener's children. The 

third day the same thing hap- 
pened, but she could not take off 
his cap, and he would not keep 
the gold. 

Not long after this the king- 
dom was invaded. The King 
assembled his warriors. He did 
not know whether they would 
be able to conquer his enemies 
or not, as they were very power- 
ful, and had a mighty army. 
Then the Gardener's assistant 
said, ' I have been brought up 
to fight ; give me a horse, and I 
will go too.' 

The others laughed and said, 
' When we are gone, find one for yourself. We will leave one 
behind in the stable for you.' 

When they were gone, he went and got the horse out ; 
it was lame in one leg, and hobbled along, hvunpety-hmnp, 
humpety-hump. Nevertheless, he mounted it and rode away 
to the dark forest. When he came to the edge of it, he called 
three times, ' Iron Hans,' as loud as he could, till the trees 
resounded with it. 

The Wild Man appeared immediately, and said, ' What do 
you want ? ' 

He called three times, ' Iron Hans, 
as loud as he could. 


' I want a strong horse to go to the war.' 

' You shall have it, and more besides.' 

The Wild Man went back into the wood, and before long a 
Groom came out, leading a fiery charger with snorting nostrils. 
Behind him followed a great body of warriors, all in armour, 
and their swords gleaming in the sun. The youth handed over 
his three-legged steed to the Groom, mounted the other, and 
rode away at the head of the troop. 

When he approached the battle-field a great many of the 
King's men had already fallen, and before long the rest must 
have given in. Then the youth, at the head of his iron troop, 
charged, and bore down the enemy like a mighty wind, smiting 
everything which came in their way. They tried to fly, but 
the youth fell upon them, and did not stop while one remained 

Instead of joining the King, he led his troop straight back 
to the wood and called Iron Hans again. 

' What do you want ? ' asked the Wild Man. 

' Take back your charger and your troop, and give me back 
my three-legged steed.' 

His request was granted, and he rode his three-legged steed 

When the King returned to the castle his daughter met him 
and congratulated him on his victory. 

' It was not I who won it,' he said ; ' but a strange Knight, 
who came to my assistance with his troop.' His daughter 
asked who the strange Knight was, but the King did not know, 
and said, ' He pursued the enemy, and I have not seen him 

She asked the Gardener about his assistant, but he laughed, 
and said, ' He has just come home on his three-legged horse, 
and the others made fun of him, and said, " Here comes our 
hobbler back again," and asked which hedge he had been 
sleeping under. He answered, " I did my best, and without me 
things would have gone badly." Then they laughed at him 
more than ever.' 



The King said to his daughter, 'I will give a great feast 
lasting three days, and you shall throw a golden apple. Per- 
haps the unknown Knight will come among the others to try 
and catch it.' 

When notice was given of the feast, the youth went to the 
wood and called Iron Hans. 

' What do you want ? ' he asked. 

' I want to secure the King's golden apple,' he said. 

' It is as good as yours already,' answered Iron Hans. 
' You shall have a tawny suit, and ride a proud chestnut.' 

When the day arrived the youth took his place among the 
other Knights, but no one knew him. The Princess stepped 
forward and threw the apple among the Knights, and he was 
the only one who could catch it. As soon as he had it he rode 

On the second day Iron Hans fitted him out as a White 
Knight, riding a gallant grey. Again he caught the apple ; 
but he did not stay a minute, and, as before, hurried away. 

The King now grew angry, and said, ' This must not be ; 
he must come before me and give me his name.' 

He gave an order that if the Knight made off again he was 
to be pursued and brought back. 

On the third day the youth received from Iron Hans a 
black outfit, and a fiery black charger. 

Again he caught the apple ; but as he was riding off with it 
the King's people chased him, and one came so near that he 
wounded him in the leg. Still he escaped, but his horse galloped 
so fast that his helmet fell off, and they all saw that he had 
golden hair. So they rode back, and told the King what they 
had seen. 

Next day the Princess asked the Gardener about his 


' He is working in the garden. The queer fellow went to the 
feast, and he only came back last night. He has shown my 
children three golden apples which he won.' 

The King ordered him to be brought before him. When he 


appeared he still wore his cap. But the Princess went up to 
him and took it off ; then all his golden hair fell over his 
shoulders, and it was so beautiful that they were all amazed 
by it. 

' Are you the Knight who came to the feast every day in a 
different colour, and who caught the three golden apples ? ' 
asked the King. 

' Yes,' he answered, ' and here are the apples,' bringing 
them out of his pocket, and giving them to the King. ' If you 
want further proof, here is the wound in my leg given me by 
yoiu" people when they pursued me. But I am also the Knight 
who helped you to conquer the enemy.' 

' If you can do such deeds you are no Gardener's boy. 
Tell me who is your father ? ' 

' My father is a powerful King, and I have plenty of gold — 
as much as ever I want.' 

' I see very well,' said the King, ' that we owe you many 
thanks. Can I do anything to please you ? ' 

' Yes,' he answered ; ' indeed, you can. Give me your 
daughter to be my wife ! ' 

The maiden laughed, and said, ' He does not beat about the 
bush ; but I saw long ago that he was no Gardener's boy.' 

Then she went up to him and kissed him. 

His father and mother came to the wedding, and they were 
full of joy, for they had long given up all hope of ever seeing 
their dear son again. As they were all sitting at the wedding 
feast, the music suddenly stopped, the doors flew open, and a 
proud King walked in at the head of a great following. He 
went up to the Bridegroom, embraced him, and said, ' I am 
Iron Hans, who was bewitched and changed into a Wild Man ; 
but you have broken the spell and set me free. All the treasure 
that I have is now your own.' 


Printed by T. and A. Constable, Printers to His Majesty 
\ [■' >t la; j?d'nburg;i VnivcsitA, .Press